Pinwheel Mushrooms

Family Marasmiaceae

Pinwheel Mushroom (Family Marasmiaceae)
Photo by Bridget L

Marasmiaceae is a family of small gilled mushrooms. It occurs worldwide on every continent including Antarctica. There are an estimated 5,900 species in 54 genera worldwide, at least 28 genera in North America north of Mexico, and at least 61 species in 17 genera in Minnesota.

Marasmiaceae mushrooms are found in coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests. They grow on the ground on needle duff, leaf litter, and woody debris. They help to break down leaf litter, getting their nutrients from non-living organic matter (saprobic).

Though small and delicate in appearance, they survive dry periods by shriveling up, then quickly returning to their normal state during the next rain.


Marasmiaceae are mostly tiny mushrooms. The cap is convex to flat but never cone-shaped. The stems are thin and often wiry. They appear delicate but on most species they are tough. The spore print is white.


Distribution Map



4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Phylum Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subphylum Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushrooms, bracket fungi, puffballs, and allies)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Marasmiineae  

Fungi in the family Marasmiaceae were formerly placed in the family Tricholomataceae. That was a waste-basket family, containing all mushrooms in the order Agaricales with white, yellow, or pink spores that were not already assigned to other families. Between 1980 and 2006 several families, including Marasmiineae, have been separated from Tricholomataceae.


Subordinate Taxa


Baeospora spp.

Calathella spp.

Calyptella spp.

Campanella spp.

Cephaloscypha spp.

Clitocybula spp.

Connopus spp.

Crinipellis spp.

Gerronema spp.

Glabrocyphella spp.

Gymnopus spp.

Henningsomyces spp.

Lentinula spp.

Macrocystidia spp.

Marasmiellus spp.

Pinwheels and Parachute Mushrooms (Marasmius spp.)

Megacollybia spp.

Mycetinis spp.

Nothopanus spp.

Omphalotus spp.

Pleurocybella spp.

Pseudotyphula spp.

Rectipilus spp.

Resupinatus spp.

Rhodocollybia spp.

Skepperiella spp.

Stromatocyphella spp.

Tetrapyrgos spp.

Trogia spp.






Common Names


Pinwheel Mushrooms












A term often used for saprotrophic fungi. Referring to fungi that obtain their nutrients from decayed organic matter.

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Bridget L

    Pinwheel Mushroom (Family Marasmiaceae)   Pinwheel Mushroom (Family Marasmiaceae)  








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Location: Dakota County

Pinwheel Mushroom (Family Marasmiaceae)







Created: 12/13/2021

Last Updated:

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