The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles
Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; commonly conspicuously clustered, or solitary (less commonly); differentiated into a stipe and pileus with the hymenium underneath the latter; tiny to medium sized (mostly), or medium sized to large; 0.5–6(–8) cm across (mostly), or 3–14 cm across (Armillaria mellea). The mature pileus convex, or parasol-shaped, or more or less flat or somewhat depressed. The top of the pileus white or whitish to straw-coloured, or honey-coloured, or yellowish-brown, or light brown, or reddish-brown, or olive, or yellow, or grey, or blackish. The fruit-bodies stinking foetid-foecal when mature (Marasmius foetidum on wood, Micromphala perforans on conifer needles), or with no particular odour other than an ordinary fungoid one. The stipe with neither ring nor volva. The hymenium borne on gills (the hymenophoral trama regular). The hymenophoral trama not bilateral. The basidia unmodified. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline, or white, or pink (never dark); (usually, at least) smooth; without a germ pore.
The hyphae with clamp connections, or without clamp connections (?). The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The generative hyphae inflated.
Ecology. Parasitic and saprophytic (notably Armillaria mellea), or saprophytic (mostly); the economically damaging A. mellea on vascular plants (attacking living coniferous and hardwood trees, shrubs, and even herbaceous plants, as well as causing extensive decay in felled timber; and Marasmiellus including important pathogens of maize). The fruit-bodies borne on the ground, on dead wood, and on living wood. Found in grassy places, in heathland, in coniferous woodland, in broad-leaved woodland, in mixed woodland, and in places modified by human activities.
British representation. Androsaceus, Armillaria, Armillariella, Baeospora, Calathella, Campanella, Cephaloscypha, Chaetocalathus, Flagelloscypha, Flammulina, Gerronema, Lachnella, Lentinula, Macrocystidia, Marasmiellus, Marasmius, Merismodes, Micromphale, Nochascypha, Omphalotus, Oudemansiella, Physalacria, Rhizomorpha, Strobilurus, Xerula.
World representation. 670 species; genera 45. Widespread, especially tropical.
Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Agaricales.
Illustrations. • Flammulina, Macrocystidia, Marasmiellus, Oudemansiella, Strobilurus, Xerula (LH). • Marasmiellus, Marasmius (7 spp.), Micromphala (2 spp.) (LH). • Armillaria mellea (LH). • Armillaria mellea, with Tricholomataceae (Berkeley). • Marasmius graminum, M. insititius, M. oreades and M. rotula (Berkeley). • Marasmius wynnei (Berkeley). • Xerula radicata, with Tricholomataceae and Marasmiaceae (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: 1st November 2012. http://delta-intkey.com’.