Reddish brown to grayish black; rubbery; earlike or cup-shaped. Usually in groups on rotting wood. May–November. Fruiting body earlike or cup-shaped; upper surface reddish brown to grayish to blackish, smooth, wavy; underside often lighter than the upper surface; silky or finely hairy, irregularly veined; flesh thin and rubbery. Spore print white. Spores magnified are sausage-shaped, smooth, colorless.
Lookalikes: The wood ear could be confused with a cup fungus except that it is rubbery, not brittle like many cup fungi, and it grows in many irregular shapes.
Habitat and Conservation
Mushrooms are a lot like plants, but they lack chlorophyll and have to take nutrients from other materials. Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They are in a different kingdom — the fungi. Fungi include the familiar mushroom-forming species, plus the yeasts, molds, smuts, and rusts.
Always be cautious when eating edible mushrooms. Be absolutely sure of the ID, and only eat a small amount the first time you try it to avoid a reaction..