The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘Earth Tongues’.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing asci and ascospores; erect-elongate, unbranched; ligulate, or clavate, or capitate (sometimes grooved; usually dark, the hymenium sometimes setose); stipitate to sessile; small to large; 2–8 cm high; dark brown, or blackish; apothecial; producing asci and spores on an exposed hymenium; stromata absent. Asci inoperculate; the asci thin walled. The walls of the asci with J+ or J- pore. The ascospores elongate (often), or ellipsoid; brown; transversely septate. The hymenial layer not readily separable from the supporting flesh (i.e., the hymenium not usually separable from the stalk).

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

Ecology. Saprophytic (in soil or on rotting vegetation). The fruit-bodies borne on the ground. Found in grassy places, in coniferous woodland, in broad-leaved woodland, and in mixed woodland.

British representation. Corynetes, Geoglossum, Thuemenidium, Trichoglossum.

World representation. 48 species; genera 6. Widespread, especially in grassland.

Classification. Ascomycota; Ascomycetes; Leotiomycetidae; Helotiales.

Comments. Taxonomically associated with the ‘Inoperculate Discomycetes’; interascal tissue of paraphyses, often strongly pigmented, often with complex branching and swollen apices.

Illustrations. • Microglossum viride (with Geoglossaceae) (LH). • Trichoglossum hirsutum (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.’.