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Hirneola Auricula Judae

Hirneola auricula-Judae

Jew's Ear, or Judas's Ear

The Jew's Ear is a gelatinous fungus which is so lobed and folded as to resemble a human ear. It is this resemblance to an ear which has suggested the names, Jew's ear and Judas's ear. Its habit of growing on elder has given rise to the belief that Judas Iscariot hanged himself on this tree. This fungus is prized by the Chinese as an article of food, and is imported by them from the South Sea Islands.

Its manner of bearing the spores on basidia places it in Class III, Basidiomycetes, which contains fungi with gills, teeth, and pores.