fairy ring


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to fairy ring: Fairy ring mushroom

fairy ring

1. a ring of dark luxuriant vegetation in grassy ground corresponding to the edge of an underground fungal mycelium: popularly associated with the dancing of fairies: seasonally marked by a ring of mushrooms
2. short for fairy ring mushroom Marasmius oreades, a dainty buff-coloured edible basidiomycetous fungus, characteristically forming rings in grassland
Enlarge picture
A man is pulled back before he enters a fairy circle. Drawing by T. H. Thomas, 1880. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.

Fairy Ring

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A darkened green ring that sometimes appears in a patch of grass, in lawns and meadows. It is caused by the enrichment of the soil by the mycelium (spawn) of certain fungi, which radiates outward from the center. The ring gradually increases in size, year by year, with mushrooms appearing around the perimeter. Rings up to more than two hundred feet in diameter have been recorded.

In popular folklore these circles of mushrooms, or darkened grass, are the rings in which fairies meet and dance. In many areas it is considered dangerous to fall asleep within the circle, for the fairies will take exception to their space being invaded.

References in periodicals archive ?
Hoops and crinoline World-surrounding hoop Fairy rings The jolly cooper (makes hoops) The furthest isles (at the perimeter of the flat, circular world) A girdle round the world Saturn (the ringed planet) Barrels worn by schoolgirls.
These rings are caused by a number of different fungi, collectively known as fairy rings.
The Fairy Ring is even more striking through my 10-inch reflector, which better shows the stars' colors.
The tasty Fairy Ring Mushrooms (Marasmius oreades) are also found on lawns.
to green up your lawn, but skip the fairy ring zone.
The Fairy Ring Champignon is a gorgeous tasting mushroom, but it does have a poisonous look alike.
Unless the toadstools are coming up in a distinct ring on the lawn, in which case it is the fairy ring fungus, they are usually beneficial and will be breaking down old plant material, dead tree roots or similar, releasing goodness back into the soil.
Q WHAT can I do about a fairy ring of toadstools that appeared in my lawn last year and is now back again?
The symptoms of fairy ring are one or more circles or partial circles consisting of an outer zone of lush green grass, a middle zone which may have dead grass, and the whitish or tan-coloured fruiting caps of the fungus, usually around the outer edge, and an inner zone of lush green grass.
Alternatively, use a professional fungicide called triforine, marketed as Fairy Ring Destroyer.
You may be as pleased as I was to learn the many variants of the name of Rumpelstiltskin; that the cross is a symbol far more widespread than in Christianity; that you can rescue someone from a fairy ring by putting one foot into it, whereupon the lost person becomes visible; or that there is a second half to "Aiken Drum," that most heartily sing-able of songs about the Moon.
Tina Jane Clark, who lived in Sir Thomas Whites Road, Coundon and worked as a civil servant in the city, has written the children's book called The Fairy Ring.