Scientific name: Auricularia auricula-judae
Size: Grows to approx 70mm across and 5mm thick
Distribution: Found throughout the U.K.
Months seen: All year round
Habitat: Nearly always found on elder, and sometimes on beech trees
Special features: The Jew's Ear Fungi gets its name from the story that Judas Iscariot hung himself from an elder tree, and this type of fungi is nearly always found growing on elder trees.
Jews Ear fungi is pale brown in colour, becoming darker and firmer with age. It really does resemble a human ear in both size, shape and texture.
The Jews Ear is one of the few species of fungi which has the ability to withstand freezing temperatures. This is a useful attribute, since it is able to develop new growths in January (normally the coldest month of the year in the UK). It can freeze solid, and when thawed out shows no ill effects.
This fungi is poisonous.