The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Anamorphic forms not known.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing asci and ascospores; tuberous to globose (often lobed, to 5 cm in diameter, warted); angiocarpic; tiny to medium sized; 0.5–5 cm across; buff, or yellowish-brown to light brown, or dark brown, or blackish; cleistothecial; comprising a perithecioid structure enclosing asci and spores (and paraphyses), with no stroma (the peridium very thick, usually strongly ornamented, the asci often developing in locules); stromata absent. The asci thin walled (evanescent). The walls of the asci not staining blue with iodine (?). The ascospores globose; variously ornamented; brown to blue-black; simple. Gleba at first dark (brown to greyish black).

The hyphae without clamp connections. The hyphal walls lamellate, double layered, with both layers electron dense.

Ecology. The fruit-bodies subterranean (mostly in surface layers). Associated mostly with conifers. Found mostly in coniferous woodland and in mixed woodland.

British representation. 8 species in Britain; Elaphomyces.

World representation. 20 species; genera 1. “Widespread”.

Classification. Ascomycota; Ascomycetes; Eurotiomycetidae; Elaphomycetales.

Illustrations. • Elaphomyces granulatus and E. muricatus (LH). • Elaphomyces muricatus (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.’.