The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘False Truffles’.


Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; angiocarpic; a globose or tuberiform gasterocarp (the gleba with small locules and no real hymenium, mucilaginous at maturity); small to medium sized; in M. broomeanus, 1–4 cm across; dull reddish-brown, or purplish brown, or blackish; with no particular odour other than an ordinary fungoid one. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores fusoid; statismosporic; brown, or brown-black; smooth.

The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The hyphae monomitic. The generative hyphae inflated.

Chemical reactions. Supposedly not yielding prenylated phenols and quinones.

Ecology. The fruit-bodies not subterranean; borne on the ground (in humus litter). Associated with broad-leaved trees. Mostly under broad-leaved trees, especially beech. Found in broad-leaved woodland and in mixed woodland.

British representation. 4 species in Britain; Melanogaster.

World representation. 25 species; genera 2. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Boletales.

Comments. Edible (formerly sold as an alternative to truffles). Real hymenium absent, the gasterocarp mucilaginous at maturity.

Illustrations. • Melanogaster broomeanus (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.’.