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No, this post is not ‘A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career-Changers’ (the book by Dick Bolles). Nor is it about the colour of ‘A cloth canopy which fills with air and allows a person or heavy object attached to it to descend slowly when dropped from an aircraft’ (Oxford Dictionary). This is about Marasmius rotula, the Collared parachute fungus, which seems to be springing up all around at the moment (well, three woodland areas near me, anyway), and the answer to the question is cream.

160628 Collared parachute fungus (1)

This little parachute is tiny: the caps range from 0.5 to 1.5cm across and these fungi grow no more than 7cm high. The epithet rotula refers to its wheel-like shape and, if you have a peep under the cap, you’ll soon seen why – the widely spaced gills are joined to a little collar that encircles the stem and the whole looks very like the spokes on a wheel. Turn it right way up and it looks for all the world like a parachute – but only one suitable for fairies! These grow mostly on the dead wood of deciduous trees and appear from June to September so if you’re out for a woodland walk, keep an eye out for them under the trees.

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