The Auriculariaceae are a family of fungi in the order Auriculariales. Species within the family were formerly referred to the “heterobasidiomycetes” or “jelly fungi”, since many have gelatinous basidiocarps (fruit bodies) that produce spores on septate basidia.
7 genera and over 100 species, worldwide.
All species within the Auriculariaceae are thought to be saprotrophs, most of them wood-rotters typically found on dead attached or fallen wood. As a group, their distribution is widespread.
In some cases the fruiting bodies are conspicuous and may be ear-shaped, button-shaped, lobed, or effused. Their hymenophores (spore-bearing surfaces) may be smooth, warted, veined, or spiny. Some species, however, produce dry, leathery, or web-like fruit bodies resembling those of the corticioid fungi.
Fruit bodies of several Auricularia species are cultivated for food on a commercial scale, especially in China.