The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘Tooth Fungi’.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; ephemeral; compound; branched (sessile or short-stalked, typically clavarioid and strongly branched, the context soft-fleshy to membranous); large to very large; Hericium coralloides 10–35 cm high; white or whitish to cream or yellowish, or straw-coloured. The hymenium with pegs or spinose (on teeth or spines on the lower surfaces of the distended branch tips). Cystidia present. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline, or white (the print white); ornamented (asperulous); amyloid.

The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The hyphae monomitic (the gloeocystidia not darkening in sulphoaldehydes). The generative hyphae not inflated.

Ecology. Saprophytic. The fruit-bodies on dead wood. Associated with broad-leaved trees, or with conifers. The fruit-bodies on trunks and branches of living trees, or on dead trees and fallen logs (H. coralloides on dead trunks of fir and frondose trees, especially beech).

British representation. 7 species in Britain; Dentipellis, Hericium, Mucronella.

World representation. 19 species; genera 5. North temperate, widespread.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Russulales.

Comments. The encoded ecological and morphological information refers mainly to Hericium coralloides.

Illustrations. • Hericium coralloides (LH).

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.’.