The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Including Lentinellaceae.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; persistent; clustered; differentiated into a stipe and pileus with the hymenium underneath the latter, or flattened and more or less appressed to the substrate or encrusting, with the hymenium on the outside (pileate, or effuso-reflexed, the context tough or leathery, with abundant gloeoplerous hyphae); small to medium sized; 1–5 cm across. The mature pileus (when pileate) more or less flat or somewhat depressed, or concave. The top of the pileus light brown, or dark brown. The fruit-bodies smelling of aniseed, or with no particular odour other than an ordinary fungoid one. The stipe with neither ring nor volva. The hymenium borne on gills (Lentinellaceae), or with pegs or spinose (spinose). The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline; smooth, or ornamented; amyloid.

The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The hyphae monomitic (Lentinellaceae), or dimitic (then with skeletal hyphae). The generative hyphae not inflated.

Ecology. The fruit-bodies on dead wood. Associated with broad-leaved trees. The fruit-bodies on dead trees and fallen logs. Especially on beech stumps. Found in broad-leaved woodland and in mixed woodland.

British representation. 1360 species in Britain (Auriscalpium, Clavicorona, Lentinellus).

World representation. 37 species; genera 5. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Russulales.

Comments. The basidioma tough, leathery.

Illustrations. • Auriscalpium vulgare and Lentinellus cochleatus (LH). • Lentinellus cochleatus (Berkeley).

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.’.