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; compound; clustered to solitary; branched (erect or decumbent, much branched from the base, the branches filiform, at first pale ochre to brownish or sometimes lilac tinged, but the whole plant drying black, 1–5 cm high); small to medium sized; 1.5–6 cm high. The hymenium smooth, or irregularly folded, ridged or wrinkled. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores 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 dimitic (with skeletal hyphae). The generative hyphae inflated.

Chemical reactions. The context hyphae not xanthochroic; negative to ferric chloride.

Ecology. Saprophytic. The fruit-bodies borne on the ground (humicolous), or on dead wood. Found in coniferous woodland (on decaying needles and branches).

British representation. 5 species in Britain; Pterula.

World representation. 63 species; genera 7. Widespread, especially tropical.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Agaricales.

Comments. Basidioma amphigenous.

Illustrations. • Pterula multifida (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.’.