The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Anamorphic forms occurring (frequent, ‘hyphomycetous’, varied).

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing asci and ascospores; flat-irregular (or effuse), or erect-elongate, unbranched (rarely); when erect-elongate, clavate; discrete, or coalescing; brightly pigmented; perithecial, or cleistothecial (rarely non-ostiolate); comprising a pre-formed stroma bearing perithecia in which asci, spores and paraphyses develop, or comprising a perithecioid structure enclosing asci and spores (and paraphyses), with no stroma; stromata present, or absent. The asci cylindrical; with more or less conspicuous apical thickening (often with an apical I-ring), or without obvious apical thickening; thin walled. The walls of the asci not staining blue with iodine. The ascospores pale brown, or hyaline; septate; without a mucilaginous sheath.

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

Ecology. Parasitic (necrotic), or saprophytic. The fruit-bodies borne on the ground, or borne on the ground and on dead wood (?). On plants or associated with fungi; Podostroma “in fir woods, amongst leaves and on furze” (Berkeley). Found in heathland, in coniferous woodland, and in mixed woodland.

British representation. About 50 species in Britain; Arachnocrea, Hypocrea, Hypocreopsis, Hypomyces, Podostroma, Protocrea, Sarawakus, Sphaerostilbella.

World representation. 173 species; genera 14. “Widespread”.

Classification. Ascomycota; Ascomycetes; Sordariomycetidae; Hypocreales.

Illustrations. • Podostroma alutaceum (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.’.