The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘Earth Tongues’.

Anamorphic forms occurring (very varied, know from only a few taxa).

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing asci and ascospores; erect-elongate, unbranched (glabrous); capitate; clustered, or solitary; stipitate; tiny to small; in Leotia lubrica, 0.25–0.75 cm across; in Leotia lubrica, 1–6 cm high; brightly pigmented (often), or not brightly pigmented; dark purplish brown to dark brown, or blackish, or orange, or yellow, or green; apothecial; comprising a perithecioid structure enclosing asci and spores (and paraphyses), with no stroma; stromata absent. The asci cylindrical; asci inoperculate; with more or less conspicuous apical thickening; thin walled. The walls of the asci with a usually diffuse apical J+ ring. The ascospores ellipsoid, or elongate; hyaline; septate, or simple.

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

Ecology. Saprophytic (on herbaceous and woody tissue). The fruit-bodies borne on the ground, or on dead wood. In rich, wettish soils. Found in broad-leaved woodland and in mixed woodland.

British representation. Leotia, Pezoloma, Pseudodiscinella, Sphagnicola.

World representation. 13 species; genera 3. “Widespread”.

Classification. Ascomycota; Ascomycetes; Leotiomycetidae; Helotiales.

Comments. Interascal tissue of simple paraphyses.

Illustrations. • Leotia lubrica (LH). • Leotia lubrica (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.’.