The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


‘Wax-gills’, etc.

Inc. Hygrophoraceae.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing basidia and basidiospores; ephemeral; clustered (often densely), or solitary (less commonly); differentiated into a stipe and pileus with the hymenium underneath the latter (nearly always), or fan-shaped (some Panellus); small to large (mostly), or very large; (0.5–)2–15(–30) cm across. The mature pileus convex, or parasol-shaped, or more or less flat or somewhat depressed, or concave. The fruit-bodies brightly pigmented, or not brightly pigmented. The top of the pileus conspicuously patterned with scales (occasionally), or not patterned with scales; white or whitish to cream or yellowish, or buff to yellowish-brown, or reddish-brown, or light brown to dark brown, or orange, or olive, or yellow, or green (notably in Clitocybe odora), or lilac, or red, or grey, or blackish. The fruit-bodies with a mealy smell, with or without rancid overtones (in many Tricholoma species, sometimes rancid, nauseous in Asterophora), or with an earthy, “spermatic” smell, or smelling of radish (e.g., Mycena pura), or with a faintly sweetish or pleasant aroma (e.g., Phaeolepiota aurea), or smelling of cucumber (e.g., Tricholoma aurantium, Clitocybe asterospora), or smelling of aniseed (in Clitocybe odora), or smelling of radish (e.g., in Mycena pura), or with a faintly sweetish or pleasant aroma (e.g., in Clitocybe nebularis), or smelling of cucumber (e.g., Tricholoma aurantium, Clitocybe asterospora), or with no particular odour other than an ordinary fungoid one. The stipe with neither ring nor volva (though some Hygrophorus species exhibit a ring-like zone where the texture and/or colour of the stipe changes sharply). The hymenium borne on gills (lamellae decurrent or free, the hymenophoral trama regular to irregular, bilateral or not); thickening, or not thickening (thick and waxy in Hygrophoraceae, thin in Tricholomataceae s. str.). The hymenophore free, or adnexed to decurrent (usually attached, often sinuate). The hymenophoral trama bilateral (some Hygrophoraceae), or not bilateral. The basidia ‘unmodified’. The basidiospores ballistosporic; hyaline, or white, or cream (never dark, rarely if ever pink?); smooth (mostly), or ornamented; without a germ pore; amyloid, or 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. The generative hyphae inflated. Spaerocysts not occurring among the context hyphae.

Ecology. Parasitic (Asterophora parasitica), or saprophytic, or saprophytic and mycorrhizal; when parasitic, on other fungi. The fruit-bodies borne on the ground. Found in grassy places, in heathland, in coniferous woodland, in broad-leaved woodland, in mixed woodland, and in places modified by human activities.

British representation. Ampulloclitocybe, Arrhenia, Asterophora, Calocybe, Calyptella, Camarophyllopsis, Cantharellula, Cellypha, Cheimonophyllum, Chrysomphalina, Clitocybe, Clitocybula, Collybia, Conchomyces, Crinipellis, Cystoderma, Delicatula, Dendrocollybia, Dermoloma, Fayodia, Floccularia, Gamundia, Gymnopus, Haasiella, Hemimycena, Hydropus, Hygrocybe, Hygrophorus, Hypsizygus, Lactocollybia, Lepista, Leptoglossum, Leucopaxillus, Lyophyllum, Maireina, Megacollybia, Melanoleuca, Mycena, Mycenella, Myxomphalia, Neoclitocybe, Nyctalis, Omphalia, Omphalia, Omphaliaster, Omphalina, Omphalopsis, Ossicaulis, Panellus, Phaeolepiota, Phyllotopsis, Pleurocybella, Porpoloma, Prunulus, Pseudobaeospora, Pseudoclitocybe, Pseudoomphalina, Resinomycena, Resupinatus, Rhodotus, Rickenella, Rimbachia, Ripartites, Squamanita, Tephrocybe, Tricholoma, Tricholomopsis, Trogia, Xeromphalina.

World representation. 2356 species; genera 107. “Widespread”.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Agaricales.

Comments. Calocybe gambosa and several Tricholoma and Lepista species edible (and good). The hymenophoral trama regular; Mycena species characterised by their “polished” stipes.

Illustrations. • Ampulloclitocybe, Arrhenia, Asterophora, Cantharellula, Fayodia, Omphaliaster, Omphalia (LH). • Lichenomphalia, Rickenella fibula, R. swartzii, Xeromphalina (LH). • Calocybe chrysenteron, gambosa, Megacollybia platyphylla, Leucopaxillus giganteus, Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis (LH). • Cystoderma amianthinum, C. carcharias, C. granulosum, Lyophyllum connatum, L. decaster (LH). • Lepista flaccida, L. nuda, L. saeva, Melanoleuca cognata, M. melaleuca (LH). • Tephrocybe anthracophila, murinum, palustris, rancida, tylicolor (LH). • Clitocybe dealbata, fragrans, geotropa, infundibuliformis, nebularis, odora, rivulosa, vibecina (LH). • Collybia butyracea, confluens, dryophila, fagiphila, fusipes, maculata, peronata, tuberosa (LH). • Hygrocybe citrina, conica, laeta, nivea, pratensis, psittacina, punicea, turundra (LH). • Hygrophorus agathosmus, camarophyllus, dichrous, eburneus, hypothejus, olivaceoalbus, pustulatus (LH). • Mycena adonis, flavoalba, galericulata, inclinata, metata, pura, tintinnabulum, vulgaris (LH). • Mycena alcalina, crocata, epipterygia, galeropus, haematopus, polygramma, vitilis (LH). • Panellus mitis, P. serotinus, P. stipticus, Phaeolepiota aurea, Phyllotopsis nidulans (LH). • Tricholoma fulvum, T. imbricatum, T. psammopus, T. terreum, T. vaccinum (LH). • Tricholoma aurantium, T. populinum, T. ustale, Tricholomopsis rutilans (LH). • Tricholoma columbetta, T. inamoenum, T. lascivum, T. saponaceum, T. sudum, T. sulphureum (LH). • Tricholoma argyraceum, T. cingulatum, T. equestre, T. portentosum, T. virgatum (LH). • 7 Mycena spp., Omphalina pyxidata and Panellus mitis (Berkeley). • Calocybe, 4 Tricholoma spp., and Lepista nuda (Berkeley). • Clitocybe, 2 Collybia species, Crenipellis, and Lepista (Berkeley). • Arrhenia retiruga and Collybia peronata (Berkeley). • Hygrophorus distans (Berkeley). • Hygrophorus eburneus (Berkeley). • Asterophora parasitica (Berkeley). • Mycena epipterygia (Scop.) Gray (from Curtis, 1826).

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.’.