The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing asci and ascospores; more or less globose (formed from coiled antheridial and ascogonial branches, the interascal tissue poorly developed: usually reduced to a small clump of asci and paraphyses); apothecial, or cleistothecial. The asci saccate; asci operculate (the operculum very large); without obvious apical thickening. The walls of the asci not staining blue with iodine. The ascospores pigmented; ornamented (the ornamentation derived directly from the secondary wall); brown.

The hyphae without clamp connections. The hyphal walls lamellate, double layered, with both layers electron dense.

Ecology. Saprophytic. Coprophilous (often), or neither coprophilous nor particularly associated with decaying keratinous materials. The fruit-bodies not subterranean; borne on the ground (in soil when not coprophilous).

British representation. 5 species in Britain; Ascodesmis, Eleutherascus.

World representation. 12 species; genera 2. Widespread.

Classification. Ascomycota; Ascomycetes; Pezizomycetidae; Pezizales.

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.’.