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
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
smooth hymenium
no distinct cap
hymenium attachment is irregular or not applicable
lacks a stipe
spore print is white
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: choice

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.



It is known as Chinese: 云耳; pinyin: yún'ěr, lit. "cloud ear"), Chinese: 毛木耳; pinyin: máomù'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 (or mushroom), wood ear fungus, wood fungus, ear fungus, or tree ear fungus, an allusion to its rubbery ear-shaped growth. In Europe, it is frequently confused as "Jew's ear", and "Jelly ear", albeit they are very closely related. In Hawaii, they are known as pepeiao which means ear.[1]

A species of it called Persian Black Fungus is a fungus that can be lethal and in small doses causes madness as seen in the movie Curse of the Golden Flower.[2]


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 potential medicinal properties, including its newly discovered anticoagulant properties. Of note, the slight crunchiness persists despite most cooking processes.

It is found to be effective in reducing blood pressure, and possibly LDL cholestrol levels. This can be done by drinking water in which the fungus has been slow-cooked for at least an hour.[citation needed]

Related fungi

Auricularia auricula-judae, a closely related species, is also used in Asian cuisine and has been suggested as an acceptable culinary alternative to Wood Ear fungus.[3]

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


  1. ^ Elizabeth Speith. "Auricularia polytricha (Auriculariaceae) - HEAR species info". Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
  2. ^ Weather & Time (2011-07-05). "What is Persian black fungus?". ChaCha. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]

External links

Karl Johanssvamp, Iduns kokbok.png Fungi portal

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