The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; persistent; attached laterally and bracket-shaped, or flattened and more or less appressed to the substrate or encrusting, with the hymenium on the outside (resupinate to reflexed); small to medium sized; 1–4 cm broad, but wider, and sometimes in tiers; with flesh not beef-steak like (i.e., unlike that of Fistulina). The hymenium porose, or with pegs or spinose, or irregularly folded, ridged or wrinkled (smooth to pseudo-poroid). The hymenial layer not readily separable from the supporting flesh. The hymenium thickening. Cystidia (hymenial) present; leptocystidia. The basidia ‘unmodified’; not of the ceratobasidialean type (q.v.). The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline; smooth; inamyloid.

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 not inflated.

Chemical reactions. The context hyphae not xanthochroic.

Ecology. Saprophytic. The fruit-bodies on dead wood.

British representation. About 35 species in Britain; Byssomerulius, Chondrostereum, Crustoderma, Cylindrobasidium, Dacryobolus, Gloeoporus, Himantia, Mycoacia, Mycoaciella, Phlebia, Resinicium, Scopuloides.

World representation. 144 species; genera 17. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Polyporales (formerly Stereales).

Illustrations. • Chondrostereum purpureum and Phlebia tremellosa. • Mycoacia uda (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.’.