The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Formerly Coriolaceae p.p.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; persistent; simple, or compound (or coalescing); clustered, or solitary; leathery attached laterally and bracket-shaped; medium sized to very large; 4–6 cm across (Grifola frondosa), or 10–40 cm across (Antrodia vaillantii and Meripilus giganteus, or indeterminate-effuse in Antrodia serialis); with flesh not beef-steak like (i.e., unlike that of Fistulina); reacting rapidly with a marked colour change when cut or bruised, or showing no conspicuous colour reaction to cutting or bruising; damaged flesh in Grifola gigantea, blackening. The hymenium porose. The hymenial layer not readily separable from the supporting flesh. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores hyaline.

The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The hyphae dimitic. The generative hyphae not inflated.

Chemical reactions. The context hyphae not xanthochroic.

Ecology. Saprophytic, or parasitic and saprophytic (?). The fruit-bodies on dead wood, or on dead wood and on living wood. Associated with broad-leaved trees. The fruit-bodies on dead trees and fallen logs, or on trunks and branches of living trees and on dead trees and fallen logs (?). On old elm trunks and stumps.

British representation. 23 species in Britain; Abortiporus, Antrodia, Grifola, Meripilus, Physisporinus, Rigidoporus.

World representation. 87 species; genera 9. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Polyporales.

Illustrations. • Antrodia serialis, Antrodia vaillantii, Grifola frondosa, Meripilus giganteus (LH). • Rigidoporus ulmarius, with other Polyporales (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.’.