The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Anamorphic forms occurring (e.g., Rhizoctonia solani).

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; persistent; flattened and more or less appressed to the substrate or encrusting, with the hymenium on the outside (mostly crustaceous). The hymenium with dendrohyphidia, with pegs or spinose (tuberculate), or smooth. The hymenial layer not readily separable from the supporting flesh. The hymenium not thickening. Cystidia (hymenial) present; gloeocystidia and lyocystidia absent. Hyphidia represented by dendrohyphidia, or acanthohyphidia, or dendrohyphidia and acanthohyphidia. The basidia ‘unmodified’; not of the ceratobasidialean type (q.v.). The basidiospores ballistosporic; white; 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 not inflated.

Ecology. Parasitic, or saprophytic, or parasitic and saprophytic; when parasitic, on vascular plants (lignicolous or herbicolous; including significant pathogens, e.g. Corticium salmonicolor, which causes ‘pink disease’ of rubber, tea and other tropical plants). The fruit-bodies borne on the ground (rarely, on soil), or on dead wood and on living wood (mostly, or on or under peeling bark). Found in broad-leaved woodland, in mixed woodland, and in places modified by human activities.

British representation. About 20 species in Britain; Corticium, Cytidia, Dendrothele, Laetisaria, Limonomyces, Lindtneria, Merulicium, Vuilleminia.

World representation. 116 species; genera 25. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Russulales (formerly Stereales).

Illustrations. • Vuilleminia comedens (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.’.