Common genera of large fungi. Appendix 7




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Common genera of large fungi. Appendix 7


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References following families and genera refer to some relevant pages in reference books:

Arora (Ar), Barron (Ba), Bossenmaier (Bo), Hanlin (H, where x-y refers to volume and page number), Lincoff - Audubon (A), Lincoff   Simon and Schuster (L), McKnight & McKnight (Mc) Miller (M), Phillips (P), Schalkwijk-Barendsen (S)


1A “Mushrooms” – fleshy and not perennial, with gills, on many substrates 2

1B “Mushrooms” – fleshy and not perennial, with pores, on many substrates 54

1C “Mushrooms” – typically fleshy and not perennial, with teeth, on many substrates 62

1D “Mushrooms” – fleshy and funnel shaped, smooth or with ridges, the chantarelles 71

1E Bracket fungi – woody and persistent, on trees and dead wood 85

1F Puffballs, earth stars, bird's nest fungi – on soil, leaves or detritus, often tough 101

1G Ascomycetes – fleshy and typically delicate 128

1H Coral fungi –branched or clubbed, often tough 147

1I Jelly fungi –moist and gelatinous, becoming dry and tough, on wood 154

1J Stinkhorns –soft club-shaped, and smelly, on soil 159

1K Club shaped fungi – stinkhorns, dead mens’ fingers, earth tongues, etc. 165

1L Crust fungi – dry, smooth or with pores or teeth, on wood 166

1M Subterranean fungi 175

1N Slime molds 177



2 (1A) Gilled mushrooms – the Agaricales – these include classic "mushrooms" that have a cap and a stem, with the spores produced on thin "leaves" called gills, on the underside (exception, Schizophyllum) of the cap. Some agarics, particularly those growing on wood, have an eccentric stalk, or no stalk and the cap appears to grow directly from the substrate. See the pictorial glossary for major variations in shape and the terms glossary for descriptive words. Spore colour is important for the Agaricales, and is not always related to gill colour – some coloured gills have white spores and vice versa – make a spore print!
2a (1A) White or light coloured spores 3

2b (1A) Pink spores 7

2c (1A) Dark coloured spores (cinnamon, purple-brown, yellow-brown, grey, nearly black) 8
3 (2a) Gilled mushrooms with white or light-coloured spores

3a (2a) Often on ground, but many substrates 4

3b (2a) Often on wood, but identify by elimination Tricholomataceae, 12

A731-810; Ar129-237; L54-68; M87-158; Mc133; S64-91, 239

4a (3a) Gills free from stalk 5

4b (3a) Gills attached to stalk 6



5a (4a) Volva (cup) present at base of stem, which may be fragile and also be left as warts on the cap; ring present or absent Amanitaceae, 34

A525-55; Ar263-92; M25-39; S53-7, 226

5b (4a) No volva of any kind, but base of stem may be bulbous; may have scales on cap, but never warts; ring usually present and often breaking loose Lepiotaceae, 35

A509-23; Ar293-310; M40-46; S51-2, 222



6a (4b) Gills thick and fleshy, waxy when rubbed; cap often brightly coloured; always on ground; ring usually absent Hygrophoraceae, 36

A654-668; Ar103-29; M47 56; S58-63, 231

6b (4b) On ground, usually near but not on wood; gills free or attached; cap often colourful and peels easily; sturdy, brittle stipe Russulaceae, 37

A679-707; Ar63-103; M62-86; S38-49, 207

6c (4b) Many habitats but often on wood; latex absent Tricholomataceae, 12

A731-810; Ar129-237; L54-68; M87-158; Mc133; S64-91, 239


7 (2b) Gilled mushrooms with pink spores A641-79; Ar238-62; M158-64;

7a (2b) Gills free from stem; usually on wood; volva present or absent Volvariaceae, 38

Pluteaceae: Ar253-62; S103-5, 285

7b (2b) Gills attached to stem; usually on ground; volva absent Rhodophyllaceae, 39

Entolomataceae: Ar238-53; S107, 288


8 (2c) Gilled mushrooms with dark coloured spores (cinnamon, purple brown, yellow-brown, smoky grey, nearly black)

8a (2c) Gills free; cap easily separable from stem Agaricaceae, 40

A500-9; Ar310-41; M189-94; S137-42, 325

8b (2c) On ground, usually near but not on wood; gills free or attached; cap often colourful and peels easily; sturdy, brittle stipe Russulaceae, 37

A679-707; Ar63-103; M62-86; S38-49, 207

8c (2c) Gills attached 9

9a (8c) Gills notably extending down stem (decurrent), or no stem 10

9b (8c) Gills attached broadly (adnate) or narrowly (adnexed) 11



10a (9a) Sessile on wood, or with stout stem and decurrent gills on wood or ground; gills forked, especially near base Paxillaceae, 41

A668-673; Ar476-80; Ar481-7; M195-8, key M195 includes Phylloporus, which is easily mistaken for Paxillus except that its flesh bruises blue.

10b (9a) Gills decurrent, thick, fleshy, not turning inky; always on ground and often near conifers; never on dung Gomphidiaceae, 42

A650-4; Ar481-7; M164-9;



11a (9b) Caps typically conic to bell shaped; often turning inky but when young, cap is never slimy; saprotrophs, they are often found growing on dung or manured grass or wood Coprinaceae, 43

A596-609; Ar341-66; M170-7; S143-51, 331

11b (9b) Similar to Coprinaceae, but never turning inky; fragile mushrooms that typically grow in grass with long thin stipes Bolbitiaceae, 44

A556-61; Ar466-75; M198-201; S124-7, 312

11c (9b) With a fibrous partial veil that often leaves a cobwebby ring on the stipe; never on dung; typically saprophytic on wood, humus or soil, or mycorrhizal Cortinariaceae, 47

A556-8, 611-23, 712-8; Ar396-466; M202-225; S109-23, 291

11d (9b) Sturdy fruiting bodies with a convex viscous cap; persistent annulus that is never cobwebby; usually on grass, mulch or dung Strophariaceae, 53

A708-25; Ar367-96; M180-9; S129-36, 316


12 (3b) Tricholomataceae Any white-spored fungus that grows on wood is a member of this family, but in addition they are also found in diverse habitats and can be saprotrophic or mycorrhizal. A731-810; Ar129-237; L54-68; M87-158; Mc133; S64-91, 239

12a (3b) Only on wood, stem central, eccentric, or lacking 13

12b (3b) On ground, needles, humus, dung, but rare on wood; stem usually central 22



13a (12a) Stem central or nearly so 14

13b (12a) Stem eccentric, very short, or absent 19



14a (13a) Flesh easily broken 15

14b (13a) Flesh tough and pliant, difficult to break 18



15a (14a) In cespitose clusters, close together but not joined above ground; stalk with a ring Armillaria mellea and Cystoderma

A. mellea: A736; Ar196; Ba246; Bo 34; ,L85; M106; Mc136; P37; S79, 256; Cystoderma: A510; Ar198; Bo38, 40; L18; M113; Mc152; P152; S91, 271

15b (14a) Solitary or cespitose, stem without a ring 16



16a (15b) Cespitose, stalk without a ring Armillaria tabescens

A737; Ar197; M108; Mc137; P37; S79, 256

16b (15b) Single 17



17a (16b) Cap 4-20 mm wide, gills short or extending down stalk (decurrent) Omphalina

A760, 787, 796, 810; Ar161-6, 221-3; Ba297; M123; Mc177; P77; S90, 268-9

17b (16b) Cap 2-20 cm wide, gills broadly attached (adnate) to notched (adnexed) Tricholomopsis



A807-9; Ar144-6; Ba302; Bo52; L72; M89; Mc194; P46; S64-9, 240

18a (14b) Gill edges serrate (sawtooth) Lentinus

A764; Ar141-3; Ba294; M91; Mc159; P208; S102, 284

18b (14b) Gill edges smooth Xeromphalina



A809; Ar221-3; Ba267; Bo52; M93; Mc195; P78; S93, 274

18c (14b) Gill edges smooth; cap covered with stiff hairs Crinipellis



A758; Ba266; L758; P63

19a (13b) Gill edges serrate or hairy 20

19b (13b) Gill edges smooth 21



20a (19a) Stem always absent; gills facing upwards, and split down middle Schizophyllum

A92-3; Ar590; Ba295; Bo74; L292; M94; Mc80; P210; S169, 364

20b (19a) Stem absent or eccentric; sawtooth gill edges Lentinellus



A764-5; Ar141-4; Ba293-4; L117 M96; Mc158; P208

21a (19b) Cap flesh-coloured to brick red with reticulate ridges Rhodotus

A795; Ar130; Ba190; Bo48; L166; M98; Mc183; S99, 280

21b (19b) Cap smooth; stem short or absent; flesh soft or tough Pleurotus



(AlsoPanus, Panellus, Phyllotopsis, Pleurocybella) A 493, 744, 761, 790-8, 809; Ar132-7; L111-4; Ba290-2; Bo48, 55, 93; M98 105; Mc181; P206; S99-102, 281-3

22a (12b) Stem with a ring 23

22b (12b) Stem lacking a ring 24



23a (22a) Ring always single; veil and cap appearing mealy or powdery Cystoderma

A510-512, 523; Ar198-200; Bo40; L18-9; M113-5; Mc152; P35; S91, 271

23b (22a) Ring single or double; veil and cap not appearing mealy Armillaria and Catathelasma



A731-7; M106-13; Armillaria Ar189-94; Ba246; Bo34; Mc133-7; P37-9; S79, 256; Catathelasma Ar189, 195; Ba246; L52; Mc137; P56

24a (22b) Fruiting body revives in water; stem 1-4 mm wide and pliant 25

24b (22b) Fruiting body does not revive in water –or– stem usually more than 4mm wide or fleshy or brittle 27



25a (24a) Cap covered with long stiff hairs Crinipellis

A758; Ar202, 210; Ba266; M115; P63

25b (24a) Cap smooth or felty 26



26a (25b) Cap surface composed of round cells; small delicate mushrooms often in troops; stem yellow brown to black Marasmius

A770-8; Ar201-14; Ba262-6; Bo44; L28-33, 35-6; M115-9; Mc165-8; P74; S77, 254

26b (25b) Cap cuticle composed of hyphae; small delicate mushrooms often in troops; spores turn blue in iodine Xeromphalina



A809; Ar221-3; Ba267; Bo52; M93-5; Mc195; P208; S93, 274

27a (24b) Parasitic/saprotrophic on decaying mushrooms Asterophora

A738; Ar200-1; Ba260; L50; M120; P78;

27b (24b) Not parasitic/saprotrophic on decaying mushrooms 28



28a (27b) Gills adnexed to decurrent (may be subtle) Clitocybe/Omphalina/Omphalotus

Clitocybe A744-51; Ar148-64; Ba253; Bo34, 46; L73, 78-84, P51; S70-5, 245 Omphalina A706, 787, 796, 810; Ar166, 221-3; Ba267; P77; S90, 268-9; Omphalotus A787-8; Ar146 8; Ba295; L86; M120-129; Mc178

28b (27b) Gills adnate to adnexed but never decurrent 29



29a (28b) Cap margin inrolled at first; stem brittle, sometimes stuffed; does not revive; in humus, on leaves or rotten wood; often in fairy rings Collybia, Flammulina/Baeospora

Collybia A752-8; Ar146, 201-220; Ba257-9; Bo38, 38; L41-5; Mc147-51; P60; S76, 251; Flammulina A759, Ar202, 220; Ba289; Bo40; L46; Mc150; S89, 266; Baeospora A738-9; Ar202, 212; Ba260; M129-36; P77; S93, 274

29b (28b) Cap margin straight or, if inrolled then stem is fleshy 30



30a (29b) Relatively small and fragile; stem brittle and 1-4mm wide, equal, lacking a ring; gills broadly attached to notched, seldom decurrent; gills may be coloured, but spore print white Mycena

A778-86; Ar224-37; Ba282-8; Bo46-8; L90-6; M137-42; Mc170-7; L90-6; P79; S95-7, 275

30b (29b) Stem thicker and fleshy to pliant 31



31a (30b) Gills fleshy; gills or cap pink or violet Laccaria, or Mycena pura

A762-3, 784; M141-6; Laccaria Ar171-3; Ba278-9; Bo40; L75; P57-60; S 98, 279; Mycena pura Ar230; Bo48; L94; P80

31b (30b) Gills not fleshy, and usually no part pink or violet 32



32a (31b) Gills bruising black, stem appears water-soaked Lyophyllum

A768-9; Ar166, 171-6; Ba281; Bo44; L53; M146-8; Mc163; P48; S85, 262

32b (31b) Gills not bruising black 33



33a (32b) Cap 6-45 cm broad and edge may be fluted; surface of gills and stem chalky white Leucopaxillus

A748, 767-8; Ar159, 166-8; Bo36, 42; L87; M 145-51; Mc161-3; P60; S83, 259

33b (32b) Stem long and thin for size of cap; cap convex and knobbed; gills notched Melanoleuca



A776-7; Ar169-71; Ba281; Bo46; L48; M152; Mc169; P50; S84, 260

33c (32b) Stem thick, fleshy, robust; cap convex and sometimes with a depressed centre; gills broadly attached or notched Tricholoma



A667, 733-5, 740, 750, 778, 799-808; Ar176-82; Ba298-301; Bo50, 52, 69; L54-68; M152-7; Mc185-93; P40-5; S64 9, 240
34 (5a) Amanitaceae Many in this family are poisonous, often deadly, so should be avoided as potential menu items. Common features in the field include 1) white spores, 2) development from an "egg" which when cut open has stem, cap and gills (unlike young puffballs), 3) a universal veil which either splits creating the cup (volva) at the base of the stem and may also leave warts on the cap, 4) a partial veil that leaves a ring (annulus) on the stem. Two genera.

34a (5a) Volva and/or universal veil slimy and glutinous Limacella

A554; Ar262, 291-2; Ba243; Bo4; L17; Mc213; P37; S57, 230

34b (5a) Volva and/or universal veil fibrous or filmy or hairy Amanita

A525-55; Ar262-90; Ba235-41; Bo2, 4; L1-16; M25-39; Mc215-39; P14-29; S53-7, 227
35 (5b) Lepiotaceae This group is relatively closely related to Amanitaceae since both groups have free gills and white spores (Chlorophyllum has green spores), but the Lepiotaceae do not have a volva even if their stem is bulbous. The cap surface is often scaly, but these are not due to remnants of the partial veil, which often forms a ring. This ring can become entirely free and slide along the stem. Many Lepiota species fruit in grass, often in fairy rings, while others appear to be mycorrhizal with conifers

35a (5b) Spore print and mature gills green, in grass Chlorophyllum

A509; Ar293-5; L21; M41; Mc240; P33

35b (5b) Spore print and mature gills white, various habitats Lepiota

A513-23; Ar293-309; Ba242-4; Bo22; L25-7; M40-6; Mc241; P30-4; S51, 223


36 (6a) Hygrophoraceae This is a typically brightly coloured group (nevertheless, the spores are white) that always grows in the ground or on duff, and not on logs or other wood, or on dung, or parasitically. When the gills are rubbed together very hard they feel waxy, and leave a waxy layer on the fingers. They do not produce latex. There is one genus, Hygrophorus.

A 654-68; Ar103-29; Ba272-7; Bo18, 20; L97-104; M47 56; Mc202-13; P63-73; S58-9, 231


37 (6b) Russulaceae There are two genera in this family, both with brittle caps whose often brightly coloured cuticle peels off easily, and brittle stems that never have a ring. Both genera have white, pale brown, or yellow spores that turn blue in iodine. All species in this family grow on soil, and are typically thought to be mycorrhizal. A679-707; Ar63-103; M 62-86;

37a (6b) Produces a milky latex when cut Lactarius

A679-97; Ar63-82; Ba304-10; Bo26-30; L118-33; M62-78; Mc326-40; P84-107; S44-9, 215

37b (6b) Does not produce latex when cut Russula

A697-707; Ar83-102; Ba311-4; Bo30-2; L134-50; M79-86; Mc317-26; P109-33; S38-43, 208
38 (7a) Volvariaceae One of two pink-spored families of gilled fungi. The most conspicuous characteristic of Volvariaceae is the free gills. There are two genera both of which are common (but not exclusive) on wood

38a (7a) Volva present at base of stem, on wood or other substrates Volvariella

A677-679; Ar258-62; L158-9; M158-9; Mc252; S105, 287

38b (7a) Volva absent, always on wood Pluteus

A673-6; Ar253-8; Ba186-8; Bo14, 24; L160-1; M158-60; Mc248-52; P138-9; S103-5, 285


39 (7b) Rhodophyllaceae The most conspicuous feature of this pink-spored family is the attached gills. Species of this family that have central stalks are always on ground and never on wood.

39a (7b) Gills long and decurrent Clitopilus

A641-2, 649; Ar239-41; Ba189; L162; M161; P134; S288

39b (7b) Gills short and decurrent or notched, often with a conic cap or a knob on a convex cap Entoloma

A641-8; Ar242-50; Ba183-9; Bo16; L163-5; M161-4; Mc310-2; P135-7; S107, 289


40 (8a) Agaricaceae Aroira and Miller recognize one genus, Agaricus, but Lincoff (Audubon guide) includes additional genera including Lepiota. Agaricus contains a large number of edible species mushrooms form which the commercial A. bisporus was bred. Typically Agaricus are edible and choice, with the exception of A. xanthodermus and allies, which are poisonous. A. xanthodermus bruises yellow, and all Agaricus species that bruise yellowish should be avoided. The other caution is to ensure the spores are dark, since the fruiting bodies can superficially resemble Amanita.

A500-9; Ar310-41; Ba192-4; Bo2; L202-7; M189-94; Mc254-62; P189-94; A137-42, 325


41 (10a) Paxillaceae. Miller recognizes one genus, Paxillus, while Audubon includes three. Paxillus has clay to yellow brown spores and decurrent gills; two species grow on wood, and one on soil

A668-73; Ar476-80; Ba224; Bo22; L236-8; M195-8; Mc312-4; P171; Miller key includes Phylloporus, which is easily mistaken for Paxillus Ba159 except that its flesh bruises blue.


42 (10b) Gomphidiaceae Most notably, this family has thick decurrent gills and smoky-grey to black spores. There are two genera. A650-4; Ar481-7; Bo16; M164-9;

42a (10b) Cap cuticle gelatinous; white flesh in cap unreactive to iodine Gomphidius

A652-4; Ar481-6; Ba200; Bo16; L234-5; M164-9; Mc316; P212-3; S35, 205

42b (10b) Cap dry to viscid or tacky; coloured flesh in cap turns blue in iodine Chroogomphus

A650-1; Ar486-7; Ba199; L233; M164-6; Mc314; P212-3; S35, 204


43 (11a) Coprinaceae. This family has black to purple-brown spores that are borne on attached or notched gills, which may deliquesce into inky slime. The cap is often conical with a dry to viscid cuticle, and the stem is usually relatively thin and fragile. All are saprophytes on dung, humus, grassy areas. Several are poisonous, and even the edible ones should not be eaten with alcohol.

43a (11a) Gills white on young fruiting bodies, then black and inky with age, and/or cap with umbrella-like striations; on wood, humus, dung, grass Coprinus

A596-602; Ar342-53; Ba195-9; Bo6, 8; L233-31; M170-4; Mc276-80; P204-5; S143-5, 331

43b (11a) Cap narrowly conic, brittle; with a thin rigid stem; single to numerous on dung or in grass, but not cespitose Panaeolus

A602-4; Ar353-60; Ba205; L217-8; M174-7; Mc283; P205; S147, 324, 336

43c (11a) Campanulate to convex cap, usually on humus or wood, often numerous or cespitose; many species Psathyrella

A599-609; Ar361-6; Ba204; Bo8; L221; M177-9; Mc281-5; P201-3; S149-51, 337


44 (11b) Bolbitiaceae. This family is closely related to the Coprinaceae; the fruiting bodies are superficially similar, but they have lighter coloured spores.

44a (11b) Stem tall and 1.2-3mm wide; cap narrowly conical and delicate 45

44b (11b) Stem thicker than 3mm or if thin then cap is convex or yellow 46



45a (44a) Cap white to pale cinnamon; gills nearly free Conocybe lactea

A559-61; Ar472; Ba211-3; M198; P185; S127, 314

45b (44a) Cap yellow- to red-brown; gills nearly free Conocybe tenera

A559-61; Ar472; Ba211-3; L200; M199; Mc309; P185; S127, 314



46a (44b) Cap yellow, bell shaped, margin striate; on cow dung in grass Bolbitius vitellinus

A559; Ar474; Ba211; Bo6; L222; M198-200; Mc307; S124, 312

46b (44b) Cap convex, cream coloured to tan to brown, not striate Agrocybe

A556-8; Ar467-70; Ba212-4; Bo6; L195; M198-201; Mc204-5; P195; S125, 313


47 (11c) Cortinariaceae. This is a large family with brown spores and entire gills that are always attached to the stem. Many species have the characteristic cobwebby/fibrous veil (called a cortina) that collapses to leave a thready ring on the stem. None are found on dung, but many are saprophytic on wood, humus or soil. Many others are mycorrhizal with hardwoods or conifers. A556-8, 611-23, 712-8; Ar396-466; M202-225

47a (11c) On wood, sometimes buried wood 48

47b (11c) On ground, and not from buried wood 50



48a (47a) Stem absent Crepidotus

A636-8; Ar405-6; Ba220-1; Bo12; L290; M203; Mc295-6; P210; S121, 307

48b (47a) Stem present, central or eccentric 49

49a (48b) Fruiting body and spore print bright rusty orange to brown; cap hairless when young; stem central; from wood Gymnopilus

A623; Ar407-11; Ba222-3; L198; M202-5; Mc298-9; P172; S123, 310

49b (48b) Spore print dull brown; cap and/or stem typically scaly or knobby; cespitose Pholiota

A524, 556-8, 621, 639, 712-8, 726; Ar384-96; Ba215-8; Bo32; L190-4; M205-11; Mc270-4; P175



50a (47b) Veil membranous, cap orange, nearly flat, and radially wrinkled, never in cespitose clusters Rozites caperata

A635; Ar411-2; Ba219; Bo14; L197; M210; Mc302; P168; S123, 311

50b (47b) Veil, if present, hairy or cobwebby 51

51a (50b) Stem thin, brittle, fragile, with a ring; cap thin, fragile, often striate, usually hairless, conic to convex and sometimes with a shallow depression Galerina

A620-3, 716; Ar399-402; Ba221-2; Bo12; L196; M210-3; Mc296-7; P186; S115, 300, 324

51b (50b) Stem fleshy to pliant, not brittle or fragile; cap not fragile, variously shaped, seldom striate 52

52a (51b) Cap dry, conic to bell shaped, often hairy; gill edge with clavate cystidia Inocybe

A626-32; Ar455-62; Ba225; Bo14; L168-71; M213-5; Mc301-2; P181; S117-9, 303

52b (51b) Cap viscid, usually convex; veil present or absent; stem fleshy and dry; cylindric cystidia on gill edge Hebeloma

A624-5; Ar463-6; Ba224; Bo14; L187-8; M215-7; Mc300-1; P179; S115, 301

52c (51b) Cap dry or viscid; if viscid then no cystidia on gill edge; cobwebby veil Cortinarius

A611-20; Ar417-54; Ba226-30; Bo10; L172-86; M217-25; Mc288-95; P139; S109-13, 293


53 (11d) Strophariaceae. This family has purple-brown spores, a central stem, and attached gills. The Agaricaceae have free gills. Continariaceae have red- to yellow-brown spores and a hairy annulus that may be a few persistent fibrils on the stem.
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