from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A cuplike structure around the base of the stalk of certain fungi.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a cup-shaped mass at the base of various fungi
- n. Alternative form of völva.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A saclike envelope of certain fungi, which bursts open as the plant develops.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In botany, a wrapper or external covering of some sort; specifically, in Hymenomycetes, same as velum universale. Compare exoperidium. See velum, 2, and cut under Fungi.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. cuplike structure around the base of the stalk of certain fungi
The name volva is particularly given to that part of the universal veil which remains around the base of the stem, either sheathing it or appressed closely to it, or in torn fragments.
The young mushroom is covered initially with a thin membrane called the volva As the mushroom develops, the stem or stipe elongates, gradually pushing the cap upwards, which causes the volva to rupture and remain at the base of the stem.
So re the volva, perhaps the important thing was it being a WHITE catskin?
Was always interested in the volva and their cat-skin boots.
There's a detailed description of a volva and a prophecying session held to ask for advice about a famine pp 70-76 of the paperback.
Prepare to be told about sailing routes and prevailing weather conditions in the North Atlantic; pagan Norse baby naming traditions; Icelandic domestic life, including details of clothes, furniture, diet and agriculture; Norse witchcraft (seidr) and prophetesses (volva); Norse ship design; Irish social structure, monastic organisation, medicine and law.
+Stem+ white, sometimes yellowish, 2 inches long, torn into scales, at first stuffed, then hollow; the attached base of the volva forms an oval-shaped bulb, which is bordered with concentric scales, that is, having a common centre, as a series of rings one within the other.
In their early stage they are enclosed in an egg-shaped veil (volva), having a gelatinous inner layer.
The volva around the base of the stem is formed by the splitting or bursting of the veil, and its different modes of rupture mark the several species.
A part of the volva remains as a sheath at the base of the stem.