The genus Marasmius belongs to the white-spored series. The plants are small, and wither and shrivel in dry weather, to revive again when wet. The gills are thin, and have acute edges.
The generic name comes from the same Greek word as the word marasmus, the name applied to a disease from which the patient wastes away without any apparent cause. The significance of the name will be apparent to one who watches the fleshy little plant shrink away when the sun shines.
Fungi with Gills
Fairy-ring Mushroom (Edible)
Cap or Pileus - Fleshy, tough, smooth, convex, or nearly plane, often with the centre higher than the space between it and the rim. Reddish ; fading, as it ages or dries, to pale yellow or buff. 1-2 inches broad.
Gills or Lamella - Broad and wide apart, creamy or yellowish, rounded at the stem end, unequal.
Stem or Stipe - Whitish, slender, tough, solid, coated with dense woolly hairs. 1-2 1/2 inches long.
Ring or Annul us - None.
Spores - White.
Flesh - Thin, white, tough.
Time - May to October.
Habitat - In circles or groups.
Dangerous fungi somewhat resembling the M. oreades, and found in company with it, may be distinguished by their dark-coloured spores.