Fairy Rings

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fairy Rings


circles formed by cap mushrooms. Fairy rings are often found in meadows, more rarely in forests. The formation of fairy rings depends on the centrifugal growth of the mycelium in the soil, on the periphery of which fruiting bodies of the mushrooms are formed each year. From year to year the diameter of a fairy ring increases by 8-50 cm, and over a number of years the fairy ring may attain a diameter of several dozen meters. Within the fairy ring the grass is usually dwarfed because the nutritive substances and water are used by the mycelium, which competes with flowering plants; in old fairy rings the mycelium in the center of the ring dies off, and the grass develops more luxuriantly. Fairy rings are formed especially often by the fairy-ring mushroom and meadow mushrooms.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

fairy rings

rings found in grassy meadows, once believed to have been produced by dancing fairies. [Br. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 345]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(4) A color reproduction of George Cruikshank's painting A Fantasy: The Fairy Ring (c.1850) is reprinted with permission in Fimi (15).
Those are the fairy rings. We are the people who can't see out--or the ones who can't see in.
To find out more about Fairy Rings and their control/ management why not visit www.grassclippings.co.uk So, look out for the fairies at the bottom of your garden, you never know where they might be sitting!
Q WHAT can I do about a fairy ring of toadstools that appeared in my lawn last year and is now back again?
Symptoms: Fairy rings are circles approximately 3 to 8 ft.
If fairy rings are your problem, they're harder to deal with.
'Fairy rings' on the other hand are caused by fungi and are evidenced by two circles of very lush, green grass forming within each other accompanied by toadstools.
Throughout the film, he follows true believers to fairy rings or the sites of close encounters between human and spirit.
What's there, besides the hissing Interstate with its huge snow fences like sutures in the earth, besides the jackrabbits and sketchy antelope grazing the distance, the great preponderance of sky, the paradox of crossing the Divide twice to cross it once, is a lushness of small bright things: hardy, civil grasses; humble yellow and dove gray and blue mosslike plants; splashes of blue, orange, and yellow lichen on red, red rock; little fairy rings of blue pebbles that memorize where a willing flower thrived and died, and prove there isn't enough rain to scramble them back from symmetry.
To interpret the phrase in The Tempest in this way makes more sense of the clause which follows |Whereof the Ewe not bites', since ewes would naturally want to eat succulent grass but are turned away by the bitter fairy rings. This interpretation also provides a neat contrast so typical of Shakespeare and it allows us to place the caesura in the most natural position.
Fairy rings are commonly-found arcs of fungus, so don't be a disbeliever.
Grassland fairy rings are formed and expand when spores drop close to and around the parent toadstools, thus increasing the diameter of the fungal patch each year.