Both have fleshy caps, whitish, moist and clammy to the touch; instead of a pleasant odour, they have a disagreeable one; the stems are ringless, or nearly so; and the gills, which are palish-clay-brown, distinctly touch and grow on to the solid or pithy stem.
The fresh-water spider (Argyroneta) lives amongst the weeds of lakes and ponds and, like Desis, is quite at home beneath the water either swimming from spot to spot or crawling amongst the stems of aquatic plants.
The absence of the ordinary bright green colours of vegetation is another peculiarity of this flora, almost all the plants having glaucous or whitened stems. Foliage is reduced to a minimum, the moisture of the plant being stored up in massive or fleshy stems against the long-continued drought.
Many species produce gums and resins, their stems being encrusted with the exudations, and pungency and aromatic odour is an almost universal quality of the plants of desert regions.
He considered, for instance, that stems, leaves, roots and flowers differ as they do because the plastic substances entering into their structure are diverse.