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; ephemeral to persistent; simple, or compound; clustered, or solitary; spathulate, or fan-shaped, or discoid, cup- or funnel-shaped with the hymenium on top (then flask-shaped or infundibuliform); small to large, or very large (e.g., the multipileate Podoscypha multizonata); white or whitish to cream or yellowish, or buff, or straw-coloured, or yellowish-brown to light brown, or yellow (etc.). The hymenium often with skeletocystidia, ribbed, or with pegs or spinose (then tuberculate), or smooth. The hymenial layer not readily separable from the supporting flesh. The hymenium not thickening (catahymenial). Cystidia often present; skeletocystidia. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline, or white; smooth; inamyloid.

The hyphae with clamp connections, or without clamp connections. The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The hyphae monomitic, or dimitic. The generative hyphae not inflated.

Ecology. Parasitic; on vascular plants (e.g., on tree roots), or on mosses (e.g., on Polytrichum). The fruit-bodies borne on the ground, or on dead wood, or on living wood (?).

British representation. 6 species in Britain; Cotylidia, Cyphellostereum, Podoscypha, Pseudolasiobolus, Stereopsis.

World representation. 70 species; genera 11. Widespread, especially tropical.

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

Illustrations. • Podoscypha multizonata (Læssøe). • Cyphellostereum laeve and Stereopsis vitellina (Petersens).

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.’.