The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Anamorphic forms occurring (these hyphomycetous).

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing asci and ascospores; large, discoid, or cupulate; more or less sessile; small to medium sized; in Pseudoplectania nigrella, 1–4 cm across; gelatinous and somewhat translucent when moist, or not noticeably gelatinous when moist (leathery or somewhat gelatinous); usually not brightly pigmented (the disc usually pale or dark, sometimes shiny black); apothecial; producing asci and spores on an exposed hymenium (the interascal tissue of paraphyses, these often anastomaosing near the base); usually without carotenoid pigmentation; stromata absent. The asci cylindrical, persistent; asci operculate (the operculum often slightly sub-apical). The ascospores elongate; smooth, or ornamented (rarely); hyaline; simple; multinucleate. The peridium composed of intertwined hyphae, often on a gelatinous matrix, dark brown.

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

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

British representation. 2 species in Britain (Plectania melastoma, Pseudoplectania nigrella); Plectania, Pseudoplectania.

World representation. 30 species; genera 14. Mainly temperate.

Classification. Ascomycota; Ascomycetes; Pezizomycetidae; Pezizales.

Illustrations. • Pseudoplectania nigrella (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.’.