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Mushrooms Sprout After Heavy Rain

 Special mushrooms have begun to sprout in the Quad Cities. They're called "fairy rings," and they grow in grass, in groups of circles, during rainy seasons.  

Martha Smith, a horticulture educator at the University of Illinois Extension, says the circles are as small as a few inches, and as large as 45 feet in diameter. 

"The past couple years, we've had some pretty dry, hot fall, so they weren't popping. This year, with the weather we've had ideal conditions and it just means something below ground is decomposing and the mushrooms are popping up as the fruiting body."

The fairy rings grow in grass, decaying tree roots, and on construction debris. Smith says they're harmless--as long as they're not eaten.

Smith says, "We tell people, kick them, rake them, mow them. You can just get rid of them that way, or just enjoy the novelty of having a fairy ring in your yard."

The "fairy ring" mushrooms get their name from folklore legends that said elves and fairies played around them.