Auricularia cornea

Also known as wood ear or ear fungus, or Jew's ear. Normally found on dead wood, or on dead parts of living trees. It forms flabby cup or ear-shaped brackets of a dull grey-brown colour, becoming a blue-grey colour as they age. It is edible, and is used in Chinese dishes. It was exported from New Zealand, mainly from the Taranaki area in the latter part of the 1800's, by a Chinese man called Chew Chong. Export of this fungus continued until the 1960's, when the Taiwanese discovered ways of commercially producing it on sawdust. The New Zealand Geographic Number18 has an article on edible fungi and has more details on the export of wood ear.

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Auricularia4b