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Cloud ear fungus

Cloud ear fungus

Cloud ear fungus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Heterobasidiomycetes
Order: Auriculariales
Family: Auriculariaceae
Genus: Auricularia
Species: A. polytricha
Binomial name
Auricularia polytricha
(Mont.) Sacc.
Auricularia polytricha
mycological characteristics:
smooth hymenium

no distinct cap


hymenium attachment is irregular or not applicable


lacks a stipe


spore print is white


ecology is saprophytic


edibility: edible

Cloud ear fungus (Auricularia polytricha, syn. Hirneola polytricha) is an edible jelly fungus. It is gray-brown in color and often used in Asian cooking. In Chinese, it is known as 云耳 (pinyin: yún ěr, lit. "cloud ear"), 毛木耳 (pinyin: máo mù ěr, lit. "hairy wood ear"), or 木耳 (pinyin: mù ěr, lit. "wood ear" or "tree ear"), and in Japanese it is called arage kikurage (キクラゲ, lit. "tree jellyfish"). It is also known as black fungus, black Chinese fungus, wood ear fungus, wood fungus, ear fungus, or tree ear fungus, an allusion to its rubbery ear-shaped growth.

Additional recommended knowledge

The fungus grows in frilly masses on dead wood. It is a dark brown color but somewhat translucent. It is usually sold dried and needs to be soaked before use. While almost tasteless, it is prized for its slightly crunchy texture and supposed medicinal properties, including its newly discovered anticoagulant properties. Of note, the slight crunchiness persists despite most cooking processes.

Auricularia auricula-judae, a closely related species, is also used in Asian cooking.

Snow fungus, another edible fungus which is white in color, is a separate species, Tremella fuciformis.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cloud_ear_fungus". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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