The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘Chanterelles’, ’Horn of Plenty’, ‘Club Fungi’, ‘Coral Fungi’.

Including Craterellaceae.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; ephemeral; simple; solitary (commonly), or clustered; differentiated into a stipe and pileus with the hymenium underneath the latter (fleshy with a solid stipe in Cantharellus, leathery with a hollow stipe in Craterellus); small to large; (1–)2–12 cm across. The mature pileus deeply concave. The fruit-bodies brightly pigmented to not brightly pigmented; dark brown, or yellow, or grey, or blackish, or yellow and blackish. The top of the pileus apricot yellow, or dark brown, or grey, or blackish. The stipe with neither ring nor volva. The hymenium ribbed (with strong radial folds and interveining, in Cantharellus), or smooth to irregularly folded, ridged or wrinkled (Craterellus); thickening. The hymenophore decurrent. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores hyaline; smooth; inamyloid.

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 not xanthochroic; negative to ferric chloride.

Ecology. Saprophytic. The fruit-bodies borne on the ground (humicolous). Found in coniferous woodland, in broad-leaved woodland, and in mixed woodland (among dead leaves, often around dead tree stumps).

British representation. 17 species in Britain; Cantharellus, Craterellus, Pseudocraterellus.

World representation. 92 species; genera 5. Widespread.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Cantharellales.

Comments. Edible (delicious, especially the Chanterelles, and easily and effectively dried).

Illustrations. • Craterellus cornucopoides, Cantharellus cibarinus, C. cinereus, C. tubaeformis (LH). • Craterellus cornucopioides (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.’.