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; simple, or compound; erect-linear and unbranched, or branched (small, erect, rather clavarioid but with differentiated stipes and solid heads, often arising from sclerotia); brightly pigmented to not brightly pigmented; dark red, or pink (or rose), or white or whitish, or blackish (etc., but commonly dirty-whitish). Cystidia absent. The basidia ‘unmodified’; 4-sterigmate. The basidiospores ballistosporic.

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.

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

Ecology. Saprophytic. The fruit-bodies on dead wood (or epiphyllous).

British representation. About 30 species in Britain; Pistillaria, Typhula.

World representation. 123 species; genera 4. Widespread temperate.

Classification. Basidiomycota; Basidiomycetes; Agaricomycetidae; Agaricales.

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.’.