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; persistent; attached laterally and bracket-shaped to fan-shaped (pleurotoid, with no more than a rudimentary stipe, the context tough and leathery); small to medium sized; in Schizophyllum commune, 1–4 cm across. The hymenium ostensibly borne on gills (with greyish-violet pseudo-lamellae). The gills atypical, rather obviously representing laterally flattened and radially elongated pores or cupules. The edges of the gills split longitudinally (each split half-revolute in dry conditions). Cystidia absent. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline; smooth; inamyloid.

The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The generative hyphae not inflated.

Ecology. Mainly saprophytic. The fruit-bodies on dead wood (mostly), or on living wood. Associated with broad-leaved trees. The fruit-bodies on dead trees and fallen logs and on stored and construction timber. On hardwoods: trunks and dead branches, also on newly felled wood and stacked timber. Found in broad-leaved woodland and in mixed woodland.

British representation. 9 species in Britain; Henningsomyces, Porotheleum, Rectipilus, Schizophyllum. Almost confined to southeast England.

World representation. 43 species; genera 5.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Agaricales.

Illustrations. • Schizophyllum commune (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.’.