The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘Jelly Fungi’.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; persistent; fan-shaped, or more or less prostrate and cushion-shaped or contorted-folded and brain-like with the hymenium external (“intrahymenial” to fan-shaped); small to large; 1–10 cm across; gelatinous and somewhat translucent when moist; brightly pigmented to not brightly pigmented; straw-coloured to light brown, or purplish brown, or dark brown, or orange to yellow, or blue, or purple (etc.). The hymenium with pegs or spinose, or irregularly folded, ridged or wrinkled (?). The basidia ‘modified’; cruciately divided. The basidiospores ballistosporic.

The hyphal walls lamellate, with a thin, electron-dense outer layer and a relatively thick, electron-transparent inner layer. The hyphae with dolipore septa.

Ecology. Saprophytic, or parasitic and saprophytic; when parasitic, on other fungi. The fruit-bodies on dead wood (on dead twigs and branches). Found in heathland, in broad-leaved woodland, in mixed woodland, in coniferous woodland, and in places modified by human activities.

British representation. Epidochium, Gyraria, Phaeotremella, Tremella, Trimorphomyces.

World representation. 18 species; genera 10. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Tremellomycetidae; Tremellales.

Comments. T. mesenterica edible (and good). The haplophase blastsporic.

Illustrations. • Tremella encephala and T. mesenterica (LH). • Tremella mesenterica (Price). • Tremella moriformis (Price).

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.’.