What You Should Know
Marasmiellus ramealis is a species of mushroom-forming fungus of the family Marasmiaceae. This small fungus has a whitish-pink, often darker in the center cap that is usually no more than 1 cm across. It is initially convex, but later flattens and may become depressed in the center. Very common in northern and central mainland Europe, becoming less evident in the Mediterranean region.
Other names: Twig Parachute, Pinwheel Marasmius, Ast-Schwindling (German).
Marasmiellus ramealis Mushroom Identification
White or whitish-pink or pale cream; convex initially, flattening at maturity; radially wrinkled at the margin; 0.3 to 1.5cm across.
Pinkish-white, turning ochre when old; adnate; narrow; distant.
The upper stem is concolorous with the cap, but it becomes a darker brown near to the base; slightly scurfy; delicate; 0.5 to 2cm long and typically 1mm dia; no ring.
Cylindrical or bean-shaped, smooth, 7.5-11 x 2.5-4μm; inamyloid.
Odor and Taste
Early summer to autumn.
Habitat & Ecological Role
On dead twigs fallen from conifers and broadleaf hardwood trees or on dead attached twigs; also commonly seen on dead bramble stems.
Marasmiellus ramealis Look-Alikes
Has long, thin black stems.
Has its gills joined not directly to the stem but a collar surrounding the stem.
Marasmiellus ramealis Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1788 French mycologist Jean Baptiste Francois (Pierre) Bulliard named it Agaricus ramealis. It was the German-born mycologist Rolf Singer who, in 1946, transferred this species to its present genus, thus establishing its currently accepted scientific name Marasmiellus ramealis.
Synonyms of Marasmiellus ramealis include Agaricus ramealis Bull., Agaricus amadelphus Bull., Gymnopus ramealis (Bull.) Gray, Marasmius amadelphus (Bull.) Fr., Marasmius ramealis (Bull.) Fr., Marasmiellus amadelphus (Bull.) M.M. Moser, and Micromphale rameale (Bull.) Kühner.
The genus name Marasmius comes from the Greek word marasmos, meaning 'drying out'. Elias Magnus Fries, who separated the Marasmius genus from the similar white-spored Collybia fungi, used as a key differentiating factor the ability of Marasmius mushrooms to recover if rehydrated after drying out.
Fries called this characteristic 'marescence'. Fungi such as the Twig Parachute are placed in the genus Marasmiellus because they are 'like Marasmius species but even smaller'.
The origin of the specific epithet ramealis is implicit in the prefix ram- meaning branch. Thus the tendency of the Twig Parachute to grow on dead twigs and small dead branches is reflected in the name ramealis.
Photo 1 - Author: Thomas Pruß (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: James Lindsey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)
Photo 3 - Author: Wilde eep (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)