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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Volva \Vol"va\, n. [L. volva, vulva, covering.] (Bot.) A saclike envelope of certain fungi, which bursts open as the plant develops.


Etymology 1 n. a cup-shaped mass at the base of various fungi Etymology 2

n. (alternative form of völva English)

  1. n. cuplike structure around the base of the stalk of certain fungi

  2. [also: volvae (pl)]


A vǫlva or vǫlva ( Old Norse and Icelandic, respectively; plural forms vǫlur and völvur), sometimes anglicized vala; also spákona or spækona) is a female shaman and seer in Norse religion and a recurring motif in Norse mythology.


Volva may refer to:

  • Völva, a pagan Norse shaman
  • Volva (gastropod), a genus of sea snails
  • Volva (mycology), a cup-like structure at the base of a mushroom
Volva (mycology)

The volva is a mycological term to describe a cup-like structure at the base of a mushroom that is a remnant of the universal veil, or the remains of the peridium that encloses the immature fruit bodies of gasteroid fungi. This macrofeature is important in wild mushroom identification because it is an easily observed, taxonomically significant feature that frequently signifies a member of Amanitaceae. This has particular importance due to the disproportionately high number of deadly poisonous species contained within that family.

A mushroom's volva is often partially, or completely buried in the ground, and therefore care must be taken to check for its presence when identifying mushrooms. Cutting or pulling mushrooms and attempting to identify them later without having noted this feature could be a fatal error.

Volva (gastropod)

Volva is a genus of sea snails, specifically cowry allies or ovulids, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Ovulidae.

Usage examples of "volva".

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 universal veil or volva is a thin covering which encloses the entire young plant.

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.

Her priestesses, women known as the Volva, functioned as both oracular wise women and judges of Her principles of right living, justice, honor, and peace.

The remnants of the village were guarded by flags, charms, and a priest who waved bones and rattles in his face and who chanted like a Finnish volva when the fit was on him.

Seidar-magic, owe no allegiance to dark Svarthofdi, but some ability as a volva I have been granted by Vidolf.

Seidar magic, owe no allegiance to dark Svarthofdi, but some ability as a volva I have been granted by Vidolf.