fairy ring

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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tolkien's earliest such safe haven appeared in a 1915 poem "You & Me and the Cottage of Lost Play" where "down a warm and winding lane" dreaming children could be found tumbling, gardening, "dancing fairy rings / And weaving pearly daisy-strings, / Or chasing golden bees" (The Book of Lost Tales, Part One [BLTI] 28, 29).
Fairy rings are one thing in nature, another in folklore.
The ring of infection spreads out over many years to form the typical fairy ring. The decomposition of this material causes a release of stored nitrogen that then stimulates the ring of infected grass to grow faster that the grass around it.
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.
Symptoms: Fairy rings are circles approximately 3 to 8 ft.
I was particularly interested in the knight concerned, Sir Richard Dallingridge, whose grey horse crops the grass outside the fairy ring as he talks, the helmet on the saddle-bow clinking as the horse jerks his head.
Yet this classification also includes the commercial mushroom Agaricus bisporus, as well as its wild relative, Agaricus campestris the oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, and the fairy ring mushroom.
A KNOWN as a fairy ring, it is a symptom of fungus growing in the soil and will eventually kill off your grass.
The pixies, gnomes and fairies have come to play in Pixies Dell, Their dancing in a fairy ring, so happy and so gay, They'll dance until the break of dawn, then softly fade away, You'll know that you have seen them, as you waken from your sleep, For you have got a special dream, that's yours alone to keep, For now you've seen the fairies, the pixies, gnomes as well, Just listen very hard at night, you'll hear the tinkling bell.
"The Fairy Ring Champignon is a gorgeous tasting mushroom, but it does have a poisonous look alike.
The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World (A True Story).