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; membranous, discoid, cup- or funnel-shaped with the hymenium on top (commonly ‘cyphelloid’, i.e., cupular or flask-shaped, sessile to slightly stipitate), or flattened and more or less appressed to the substrate or encrusting, with the hymenium on the outside; brightly pigmented (rarely), or not brightly pigmented; mostly pallid, white or whitish, or grey, or yellow (rarely). The hymenium with pegs or spinose, or smooth (?). The hymenial layer not readily separable from the supporting flesh. The hymenium not thickening. Cystidia absent. The basidia ‘unmodified’; not of the ceratobasidialean type (q.v.). The basidiospores often large; ballistosporic; hyaline, or white; ornamented; 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. The fruit-bodies commonly on dead wood (or on bark or leaves).

British representation. 15 species in Britain; Cyphella, Globulicium, Radulomyces, Sarcodontia, Seticyphella; all but the first and last formerly referred to Hyphodermataceae.

World representation. 47 species; genera 18. “Widespread”.

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

Comments. This family has at one time or another contained diverse forms, now mainly distributed among Marasmiaceae, Cortinariaceae, Tricholomataceae and Schizophyllaceae.

Illustrations. • Sarcodontia crocea (Læssøe).

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.’.