Marasmius oreades


Close up picture of Marasmius oreades cap, stipe, gills and spore print

Kingdom: Fungi

Phyla: Basidiomycota

Class: Agaricomycetes

Order: Agaricales

Family: Marasmiaceae

Genus: Marasmius

Species: M. oreades (Bolton) Fr (1836)

Description: Common name of this mushroom is “fairy ring mushroom” since it frequently fruits in ring patterns on grass and lawn places. An English naturalist James Bolton first described this mushroom in 1792. But then, Elias Magnus Fries established its current- scientific name.

This mushroom and other members of the genus Marasmius are referred to as “resurrection mushroom”- meaning that they can dry out completely in hot and sunny days, but after rain, they reflate and regain their characteristics shape and color. Not only do they reconstitute fruiting body look like fresh young mushroom but they also able to reproduce cells and produce new spores.

Ecology notes: Saprobic on grass in lawns, meadows, and other grassy areas. Frequently can find this mushroom among coastal grasses in dunes. It can grow gregariously in troops, arcs, or rings. Usually this mushroom appears in summer and fall or sometimes it can be found year around in warmer climates. It is widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 1-5 cm across, bell shaped and initially convex. It often retains a slight central bump. The splash color various from pale tan to buff, occasionally white, or reddish tan. Usually it changes color as it dries.

Gills: Attached to the stem or free from it; white or pale tan.

Stipe: 2-8 cm long, 1.5-6 mm thick, equal, dry, tough and pilant whitish or have same color as cap, smooth and dry.

Spore print: white

Microscopic features: Spores smooth, fusoid, ellipsoid or inamyloid. The color of the spores is hyaline to yellowish.

Relevance to society: Marasmius oreades is considered an edible mushroom.

Marasmius oreades spores under microscope

Marasmius oreades spores under microscope

Marasmius oreades growing on grass in East Lansing

Marasmius oreades the “fairy ring” mushroom, East Lansing











Arora, D. (1986) Mushroom Demystified (2nd ed.). Berkley: Ten Speed Press.

Marasmius oreades

Marasmius oreades at

Marasmius oreades at Tom Volk’s Fungi


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