The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Syn. Scutigeraceae.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; ephemeral (annual); simple; stipitate; differentiated into a stipe and pileus with the hymenium underneath the latter, or attached laterally and bracket-shaped; medium sized to very large; in A. cristatus, 5–20 cm across. The mature pileus convex, or more or less flat or somewhat depressed, or concave. Mature flesh when fresh whitish. The top of the pileus conspicuously patterned with scales, or not patterned with scales; white or whitish, or buff to yellowish-brown, or light brown, or olive. The fruit-bodies reacting rapidly with a marked colour change when cut or bruised to showing no conspicuous colour reaction to cutting or bruising; damaged flesh greening (at least in A. cristatus). The stipe with neither ring nor volva; without scales. The hymenium porose (tubulate); not thickening. The hymenophore decurrent. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores more or less spherical to ellipsoid; white (or “pale”).

The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The hyphae monomitic. The generative hyphae inflated.

Chemical reactions. The context hyphae negative to ferric chloride.

Ecology. Saprophytic and mycorrhizal (ectotrophic). The fruit-bodies borne on the ground. Associated with broad-leaved trees (A. cristatus), or with conifers (A. ovinus). Found in broad-leaved woodland, in mixed woodland, and in coniferous woodland.

British representation. 3 species in Britain; Albatrellus.

World representation. 16 species; genera 5.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Polyporales.

Illustrations. • Albatrellus ovinus (Petersens).

To view the illustrations with captions giving names in current use, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, distributions of character states within any set of taxa, source references, and other relevant material.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2008 onwards. The families of mushrooms and toadstools represented in the British Isles. Version: 6th March 2015.’.