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; ephemeral; clustered, or solitary; differentiated into a stipe and pileus with the hymenium underneath the latter; medium sized to large; 3–10(–12) cm across. The mature pileus convex to parasol-shaped, or more or less flat or somewhat depressed, or concave (rarely, e.g. Clitopilus prunulus). The fruit-bodies brightly pigmented, or not brightly pigmented. The top of the pileus cream or yellowish, or buff, or straw-coloured, or honey-coloured, or light brown, or dark brown, or yellow, or blue, or lilac. The fruit-bodies with a mealy smell, with or without rancid overtones (faintly mealy, in Entoloma prunuloides), or with no particular odour other than an ordinary fungoid one. The stipe with neither ring nor volva. The hymenium borne on gills (lamellae thin). The hymenophore adnexed to decurrent. The hymenophoral trama not bilateral. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; pink; ornamented (faceted, angular or longitudinally ridged).

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. Spaerocysts not occurring among the context hyphae.

Ecology. Saprophytic. The fruit-bodies borne on the ground. Found in grassy places, in coniferous woodland, in broad-leaved woodland, in mixed woodland, and in places modified by human activities.

British representation. Clitopilus, Entoloma (including Claudopus, Eccilia, Leptonia, Nolanea, Rhodophyllus), Rhodocybe.

World representation. 1074 species; genera 7. Widespread, but mainly tropical.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Agaricales.

Illustrations. • Clitopilus prunulus, Entolom nitidum, E. porphyrophaeum, E. prunuloides, E. sinuatum (LH). • Entoloma aprile, E. clypeatum, E. conferendum, E. dichroum, E. sericeum (LH). • Entoloma asprellum, cetratum, incanum, lampropum, pleiopodium, sericellum, undatum (LH). • Clitopilus prunulus and Entoloma clypeatum (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.’.