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; angiocarpic; a globose or tuberiform gasterocarp (loculate, with no stipe); small to medium sized; in Octaviania, 1–3 cm across; white or whitish, or dark brown, or olive, or blackish (initially light, becoming greenish and subsequently darkening); reacting rapidly with a marked colour change when cut or bruised (? - perhaps bruising greenish); of Octaviania cocoa-scented. The hymenophoral trama not bilateral. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores globose; statismosporic; ornamented (coarsely tuberculate).

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.

Ecology. The fruit-bodies subterranean to not subterranean (usually in humus); when epigeal, borne on the ground. Associated with broad-leaved trees. In beech woods on chalk. Found in broad-leaved woodland.

British representation. 5 species in Britain; Octaviania, Sclerogaster, Wakefieldia.

World representation. 12 species; genera 2. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; dubiously Boletales.

Comments. Exemplified by Octaviania asterosperma.

Illustrations. • Octaviania asterosperma (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.’.