This fungus is not only cool looking, it also is actually a parasitic yeast. A parasitic yeast? You may ask? Oh, yes, it’s true! It grows all slimy and mucous-like until it finds it’s preferred host (various other species of fungi), and then once it does, it invades them to eventually produce it’s own fruiting bodies.
This fungus has been cultivated in China since at least the 1800s. Its used is Chinese cuisine, typically sweet dishes, and an extract from the fungus is also used in beauty products.
Many jelly ear fungus are edible and eaten specifically in Asian cuisines, but I have never been courageous to try them. I just feel like the texture might be a bit weird to me… but who knows!
Alternate Names: Snow Ear, Silver Ear Fungus, White Jelly Mushroom Size: up to 7.5 cm across Family: Tremellaceae Habitat: Grows on the dead branches of broadleaf trees. Identification: "Fruit bodies are gelatinous, watery white, and composed of thin but erect, seaweed-like, branching fronds, often crisped at the edges". From wikipedia