Auricularia auricula
JELLY FUNGI FAMILY (Auriculariaceae)

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Irregularly shaped, gelatinous and often ear-like or cup shaped, growing in clusters from crevices in the bark (A). It is up to several inches wide. Comes in various shades of brown to pink when moist and supple; turns tan and black when dried (B,C,D,E) . The spore bearing undersurface is often ribbed or veined giving the appearance of a human ear. The flesh is thin and rubbery.

On decaying hardwood trees or fallen logs and branches, especially on American Elm (Ulmus americana). It is common in Fontenelle Forest. May be seen fresh anytime of the year after rain or wet snow. In the fall and winter some may be seen in a dried state.

The large, ear-like structure of this fungus, also called Jelly Ear, separates it from cup fungi. It has distinctive shapes and colors when dried (D,E).

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