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; flattened and more or less appressed to the substrate or encrusting, with the hymenium on the outside (“effused”, pellicular and waxy or fluffy); gelatinous and somewhat translucent when moist, or not noticeably gelatinous when moist; white or whitish, or grey, or green (-ish). The basidia ‘unmodified’ (i.e., probasidium absent); of characteristic form, being pyriform with very stout sterigmata; 1–8; maturing at different times. The basidiospores sometimes replicating; ballistosporic; inamyloid.

The hyphae with clamp connections, or without clamp connections. The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer.

Chemical reactions. The context hyphae not xanthochroic (?).

Ecology. Saprophytic. The fruit-bodies on dead wood, or on dead wood and on living wood; on dead trees and fallen logs, or on trunks and branches of living trees and on dead trees and fallen logs.

British representation. 13 species in Britain; Ceratobasidium, Heteroacanthella, Scotomyces, Thanatephorus, Waitea.

World representation. 28 species; genera 7. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Ceratobasidiales.

Comments. Pellicular; homobasidious.

Illustrations. • Ceratobasidium cornigerum, Scotomyces subviolaceus, Thanatephorus fusisporus (Læssøe & 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.’.