Senderuela or carrerilla mushroom (Marasmius oreades)


We already wanted (even if it was for a while in the afternoon) to go looking for mushrooms that we know well. The afternoon was not bad for the time we were there. Also, there were people from nearby towns hanging around, searching and they know the places well. They always get along with the best. :-(. We found a bit of everything but we were focused on finding the trail . 

The senderuela is well known and may be one of the first mushrooms that you learn to identify if it occurs in the area where you live. It has countless names: Senderuela, senderilla, lane mushroom, carrerilla mushroom, ring mushroom and possibly it has some more that we do not know.


This species is found everywhere in the western world, although with a few exceptions. Native to Europe and widespread throughout North America and in some areas of eastern Austrialia, this species of the genus Marasmius , delights from the most expert mycologists to the most neophytes for its “ease” of identification in terms of its morphology and especially the place where they usually grow. In the following map we can see a worldwide distribution of the footpaths.

The easy identification of the footpaths is due to the fact that they are found in clearings, in areas of prairie and grass. You will never see them in wooded areas, not even in low scrub. They will always be in these places, making the search easy since they can be seen from several meters away and it is that when the carpophorus comes to the surface from the mycelium of the subsoil, it does not do it alone. Many grow along the entire mycelium forming entire meter paths. Hence the name of mushroom of carrerilla or senderuela.

The fungi of this genus have two seasons a year, autumn and spring if they are rainy in continental climate. In temperate and rainy climates it is possible to see it all year round. Also, where there has been a path there will be again. It is a very resistant fungus, it can dry out completely and when it rains, it recovers its shape without major problem. This characteristics is mainly due to a disaccharide called trehalose that prevents severe cell damage when dried. For this reason, the senderuelas can be dried and stored dehydrated and when you decide to cook them, simply by soaking them they will return to their being.

I run the senderuelas ring. Photo Dr Mary Gillham Archive

The classification of the taxonomic name Marasmius is relatively recent, from the 70s, thanks to Elías Magnus Fries, a Swedish mycologist who adjusted this mushroom to the genus Marasmius . Before that, it was known but was included within the genus Agaricus (mushroom genus, also wild) that are also found in the same grasslands. In fact, it is not uncommon to see certain species of Agaricus coexisting with senderuelas. And although it does not belong to the genus, it does belong to the Agaricales family.


And let’s finish with the etymology because it is very curious. Marasmius comes from the Latin “marasmos” which literally means desiccation . In fact, in Spanish the RAE defines as the second meaning of marasmus: Extreme emaciation of the human body . And it is that the same mycologist who introduced it taxonomically as a new genus, alluded to that ability to be able to recover its shape after the total desiccation of the mushroom. Last but not least, the oreades species comes from the Oreiades nymphs of Greek mythology that lived in areas of mountain valleys, precisely where these rich mushrooms are found. Of course, Mr. Magnus was not lacking in linguistic romanticism!

It is very easy to even identify where they are going to come out when the time comes by the change in color of the grass just above the mycelium.



The hat is small. From 1.5 to 6-7 cm in its maximum size. The shape evolves over time . At first it is camping, then convex with a central bulge on the hat, called a mamelon . The hat is flat when it is very ripe. The edge is lobed, the cuticle does not separate, being brown with a little more intensity in the central mamelon.


They are spaced, thick and with many lamélulas. We remember that the lamélulas are the sheets that do not go from the trunk to the edge of the hat. They are cream-colored, lighter than the hat.


It is long and thin and straight or slightly curved at the bottom. It is full, tenacious, slim and elastic. Supports twisting (2 or 3 turns). The surface is smooth and cream-colored similar to sheets. It is so tenacious that it is recommended to remove it and cook only the hat. It is too hard and does not add much flavor.


The spore is white


It is a mushroom that can be grown from spring to November . We can find it in open fields, among the grass, forming circles. You will rarely find an isolated specimen. They are very well recognized by appearing several at the same time forming circles or half moons


It is very good edible. As we have already advanced, the tenacity of the foot is such that it has to be removed to cook the hats. It is very versatile due to its size and flavor and can be incorporated into meat and fish garnishes, soups, salads, scrambled eggs, stir-fries … Due to the concentration of trehalose (it is a sugar) they have a sweet, very aromatic flavor that makes them highly appreciated. I particularly like them a lot as a garnish for pasta or even crush them in thermomix and make a cream of senderuelas.


It can be confused with Marasmius collinu s growing in the same type of habitat. They differ mainly in the blades. Those of the latter are tight and the smell is not pleasant. Another possible confusion can be with Collybia dryophila, which also forms corns . The difference is that it does not do it in open fields or meadows like the senderuela. It grows in forests or under bushes. It can be differentiated because your foot is not that tenacious and it breaks with twisting. In addition, it lacks a mamelon in the hat.

Here we leave you the photo of the day (they are uncleaned):

Senderuela collected and cleaned in the north of Spain in the month of April


The trails have a very good conservation capacity by various methods.

Freezing : Once collected, we can clean them, remove dirt from the feet under the tap. Don’t be afraid to get them wet. The lamellae are thick and widely spaced, do not break easily and are easy to dry afterwards. The best way to dry this and any other mushroom is in the lettuce centrifuges since they are not squashed with a cloth, we do not leave lint or cellulose from the kitchen paper and drying is almost perfect.

Drying:  Sewn, as is. We are sewing them by the foot with sewing thread and needle, making necklaces of senederuelas and we hang them in a room or room with little light and with some heat and a lot of dryness. I particularly leave them in my town near the wood boiler and they dry very well. In a few days depending on the time of year and the dryness and heat of the environment we will have our carrerilla mushrooms to store until we decide to cook them.

Dried Senderuelas

Until the next mycological day!

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