Fairy-ring

faery ring-001I recently was sent this photo from Shaunna and Chris in the Strath Creek valley and even though it is a couple of months old it is worth sharing. If you look carefully there is a large circular arrangement of mushrooms in the middle of their paddock.

Mushrooms are the fruit of a fungus (analogous to an apple and an apple tree). When the mushroom disappears the fungus is still growing, in this case underground, as a network of mycelia.

A single fungus grows from a single point. In areas where there is no interruption by rocks or plants, the mycelia will grow out from the centre in a radial pattern and in fruiting season, the mushrooms will develop at the outer edge of the mycelia, hence forming the classic ‘fairy-ring’.

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