The fungi as a class may hardly be called popular. For various reasons they are, so to speak, under a cloud. They are little known, and so in lieu of better information the legend "poison" seems to run for all the finer and more showy species. If not held absolutely poisonous, most are at least considered useless and are nameless. Literature, the all-embracing, which concerns itself freely with other forms of animate nature, draws a line at the fungi; and Browning evinces great boldness when he ventures to touch with the wand of his poesy "the freaked, fawn-colored, flaky crew" that rises in November hours.
Assuming the vegetable nature of fungi, the most notable thing about them, as compared with all surrounding vegetation, is their color.
Without exception the fungi are chlorophyl-less. This, though a negative quality, is, nevertheless, a very convenient one, and withal expressive, for it defines exactly the place these plants must hold in the economy of nature.