The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; persistent; clustered, or solitary; differentiated into a stipe and pileus with the hymenium underneath the latter; medium sized to large; 3–15 cm across. The mature pileus concave (or funnel-shaped). The top of the pileus conspicuously patterned with scales (notably in Sarcodon), or not patterned with scales; reddish-brown, or light brown, or dark brown, or grey to blackish (or combinations of these colours). The fruit-bodies smelling of curry-powder, or with no particular odour other than an ordinary fungoid one. The hymenium with pegs or spinose (spinose). The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline to cream; ornamented.

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

Chemical reactions. The context hyphae releasing green pigment when treated with KOH.

Ecology. Saprophytic, or mycorrhizal (?). The fruit-bodies borne on the ground. Associated mostly with conifers. Found in mixed woodland and in coniferous woodland.

British representation. About 30 species in Britain; Bankera, Boletopsis, Hydnellum, Phellodon, Sarcodon.

World representation. 97 species; genera 5. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Thelephorales.

Illustrations. • Hydnellum (2 spp.), Phellodon niger, Sarcodon imbricatus (LH).

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.’.