The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Formerly Polyporaceae p.p., Coriolaceae p.p.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; persistent; sessile or shortly stalked, leathery, attached laterally and bracket-shaped (or hoof-shaped in Postia); small to very large; 2–35 cm across; with flesh not beef-steak like (i.e., unlike that of Fistulina). The hymenium ostensibly borne on gills (e.g., in Daedalea quercina), or porose. The gills (if the hymenium gill-like) atypical, rather obviously representing laterally flattened and radially elongated pores or cupules. The edges of the gills not split longitudinally. The hymenial layer not readily separable from the supporting flesh. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline; smooth; inamyloid.

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

Chemical reactions. The context hyphae not xanthochroic.

Ecology. Parasitic and saprophytic; on vascular plants (especially on living and decaying birch). 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. Especially on birch and oak. Found in broad-leaved woodland and in mixed woodland.

British representation. 35 species in Britain; Anomoporia, Daedalea, Donkioporia, Fomitopsis, Osteina, Piptoporus, Podoporia, Postia.

World representation. 115 species; genera 11. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Polyporales.

Illustrations. • Daedalea quercina, Fomitopsis pinicola, Piptoporus betulinus, Postia caesia, Postia stiptica (LH). • Piptoporus betulinus (Berkeley). • Daedalea quercina (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.’.