Donkey ear (Otidea donkey) (Otidea onotica) photo and description

Otidea donkey (Otidea onotica)

  • Department: Ascomycota (Ascomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Pezizomycotina (Pesizomycotins)
  • Class: Pezizomycetes (Pecicomycetes)
  • Subclass: Pezizomycetidae (Pecicomycetes)
  • Order: Pezizales
  • Family: Pyronemataceae (Pyronema)
  • Genus: Otidea (Otidea)
  • Species: Otidea onotica (Donkey ear (Otidea donkey))


Donkey ear

Donkey ear

Hat: The donkey ear mushroom hat has an unusual elongated shape. The edges of the cap are turned inward. The diameter of the hat is up to 6 cm. The length can reach 10 cm. The hat has a one-sided structure. The inner surface of the cap is yellow with shades of ocher color. The outer surface can be either a tone lighter or a tone darker.

Leg: the leg follows the shape and color of the cap.

Pulp: Thin and firm pulp does not have any special smell or taste. So dense that it looks like rubber.

Fruit body: The shape of the fruit body resembles the ear of a donkey, hence the actual name of the mushroom. The height of the fruiting body is from 3 to 8 cm. The width is from 1 to 3 cm. At the bottom it turns into a small stalk. The inside is light yellow or reddish, rough. The inner surface is yellow-orange, smooth.

Spore powder: white.

Distribution: Donkey's ear grows in cool climates, prefers fertile, fertilized and warm soils in forests of any kind. Occurs in groups, occasionally singly. It can be found both in forest clearings and in fires. The probability is approximately equal. Fruiting from July to October-November.

Similarity: the closest to a donkey's ear is the mushroom spatula (Spathularia flavida) - This mushroom is also little known and rare. In shape, this mushroom resembles a spatula of yellow, or close to yellow. Since the spatula rarely grows even up to 5 cm, mushroom pickers do not consider it a valuable species. Donkey's ear has no similarity with poisonous and inedible mushrooms growing in our area.

Edible: not of great value due to tough pulp and small size. But, in principle, it is considered an edible mushroom and can be eaten fresh.

Notes: Donkey ear is a rare and little-known mushroom in our area. One has only to see it, and you immediately understand where such an unusual name comes from. The resemblance to the ear of an animal also gives the mushroom smoothness on the inside and hairiness on the outside. Mushroom pickers appreciate the mushroom for its rarity and unusual appearance, but the mushroom has no nutritional value.