The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘Fairy Clubs’, ‘Club fungi’, ‘Coral fungi’.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; simple, or compound; clustered, or solitary; not sparassidioid (q.v.); erect-linear and unbranched, or erect-clavate and unbranched, or branched (without a distinct head); small to very large; (2–)4–15(–20) cm high; brightly pigmented to not brightly pigmented; yellowish-brown, or light brown, or reddish-brown, or dark brown, or orange, or yellow, or blackish. The hymenium ribbed, or smooth. The basidia ‘unmodified’; 4-sterigmate (these straight or only slightly curved). The basidiospores typically uniguttulate; ballistosporic; white, or yellow, or olive, or brown; smooth, or ornamented (then echinulate).

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. The fruit-bodies borne on the ground (mostly), or on dead wood (Clavaria fistulosa, sometimes). Found in grassy places, or in heathland, or in coniferous woodland, or in broad-leaved woodland, or in mixed woodland.

British representation. Clavaria, Clavulinopsis, Macrotyphula, Multiclavula, Ramariopsis.

World representation. 54 species; genera 5. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Agaricales.

Comments. Some Clavulinopsis species may be lichenized.

Illustrations. • Clavaria argillacea, Clavulinopsis (2 spp.), Macrotyphula (2 spp.) (LH). • Clavaria amethystina and Clavinulopsis umbrinella (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.’.