The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘Coral spots’ of woody plants.

~ Hypocreaceae.

Anamorphic forms commonly occurring (these hyphomycetaceous, hyaline or brightly coloured, proliferating sympodially; including economically important Fusarium spp.).

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing asci and ascospores; flat-irregular, or discoid to cupulate, or cushion-shaped, or pear-shaped, or globose; sessile; discrete to coalescing; tiny to small (?); 0.1–0.6 cm across (?); brightly pigmented (commonly), or not brightly pigmented; often orange, or yellow; perithecial (superficial); comprising a perithecioid structure enclosing asci and spores (and paraphyses), with no stroma, or comprising a pre-formed stroma bearing perithecia in which asci, spores and paraphyses develop; stromata present (then pulvinate), or absent. The asci cylindrical; with more or less conspicuous apical thickening to without obvious apical thickening (often with a minute, apical J- ring); thin walled. The walls of the asci not staining blue with iodine. The ascospores smooth, or ornamented (sometimes); pale brown, or hyaline, or white, or yellow-brown, or cream, or yellow (hyaline to yellow or pale brown); transversely septate; without appendages; without a mucilaginous sheath.

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

Ecology. Parasitic (notably Dialonectria galligena, causing canker on apple trees), or saprophytic; when parasitic/pathogenic, on other fungi, or on vascular plants. The fruit-bodies on dead wood and on living wood (bursting through sticks and newly fallen branches). Often on dead plant material or other fungi. Found in heathland, in coniferous woodland, in broad-leaved woodland, in mixed woodland, and in places modified by human activities.

British representation. About 100 species in Britain (with about 65 in Nectria); Calonectria, Cosmospora, Dialonectria, Gibberella, Nectria, Neocosmospora, Pseudonectria, Xenonectriella.

World representation. 109 species; genera 20. Cosmopolitan.

Classification. Ascomycota; Ascomycetes; Sordariomycetidae; Hypocreales.

Illustrations. • Nectria cinnabarina (LH). • Nectria peziza (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.’.