Auricularia nigricans – Ear fungus

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Ear fungus (Auricularia nigricans) is a wood-rotting mushroom that can be found growing singly or in clusters on dead or dying trees.
The ear fungus (A. nigricans) can be differentiated from other wood ear fungi (mushrooms in the Auricularia genus) by its upper surface which is ash-gray to yellowish brown and hairy.
Wood ear mushrooms are primarily cool weather species but can appear anytime and stay on the tree for a long time. Wood ears do not compress easily, as other jelly fungi do.
Wood ears can be added to soups and stews. They are typically added to hot and sour soup.
Wood ears have traditionally been used to treat sore throats.
No wood ear species are toxic.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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