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; somewhat stipitate to sessile; attached laterally and bracket-shaped (to hoof- or tongue-shaped, the stipe short or absent); medium sized to very large; 5–30 cm across; brightly pigmented to not brightly pigmented; blood- or liver- red, or purplish brown; characterized by flesh textured and coloured like fresh beefsteak. The hymenium porose (the hymenophore of very crowded, free tubes, the individual tubes constricted at their bases, the context watery-fleshy). The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline; smooth.

The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The generative hyphae not inflated.

Ecology. Saprophytic, or parasitic and saprophytic; when parasitic, on vascular plants. The fruit-bodies on dead wood and on living wood. Associated with broad-leaved trees. The fruit-bodies on trunks and branches of living trees and on dead trees and fallen logs. Commonly on living deciduous trees, especially oaks, causing ‘brown oak’. Found in broad-leaved woodland and in mixed woodland.

British representation. 2 species in Britain; Fistulina.

World representation. 7 species; genera 2. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Agaricales.

Comments. Edible (after boiling, but unexciting).

Illustrations. • Fistulina hepatica (LH). • Fistulina hepatica (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.’.