Keys for Macrofungi

Over the years the British Mycological Society and it members have published a large number of keys to fungi in its journals and occasionally in the publications of other societies. We felt that it would be useful to make them accessible to everyone by publishing them on the BMS website.

This is very much a work in progress and it is hoped to continue to add keys to the web page as time permits. If you would like to add a comment or have any suggestions or queries relating to this web page then please contact either Archie McAdam or Liz Holden through the BMS office at

Where the journal is not a BMS publication, permission to reproduce the keys involved has been obtained and full acknowledgement is given.

** See below for Category Notes **


The Keyword search matches files with the entered phrase in the title or the detailed description. The Advanced Search allow searching for the Author or Category.

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Thumbnail Title Filename Date Posted Size
PDF file icon Agarics and Boleti - Key to Genus British_Agarics_Boletes.pdf 24/04/2018 6,499.60 KB
PDF file icon Armillaria Keys_-_Amillaria_Key_by_Roy_Watling.pdf 24/04/2018 128.02 KB
PDF file icon Clavaria - brown and black species Clavaria_Brown_and_black.pdf 24/04/2018 106.79 KB
PDF file icon Clavaria - yellow species Clavaria_-_Yellow__Species.pdf 24/04/2018 176.17 KB
PDF file icon Conocybe Conocybe.pdf 24/04/2018 2,728.17 KB
PDF file icon Cortinarius - Myxacium Cortinarius_Myxacium.pdf 24/04/2018 1,019.35 KB
PDF file icon Cortinarius I Keys_-_THE_GENUS_CORTINARIUS_I_by_P_D_Orton.pdf 24/04/2018 2,502.98 KB
PDF file icon Cortinarius II Keys_-_THE_GENUS_CORTINARIUS_II_by_P_D_Orton.pdf 24/04/2018 2,014.42 KB
PDF file icon Cup Fungi of Britain Pt1 Cup_Fungi_-_Larger_-_of_Britain_Part_1.pdf 24/04/2018 89.82 KB
PDF file icon Cup Fungi of Britain Pt2 Cup_Fungi_-_Larger_-__of_Britain_Part_2.pdf 24/04/2018 97.97 KB


Category A Keys

Category A Keys consists of keys that have been recently published in the journal Field Mycology and other recently published keys. Synoptic keys involving colour can now be downloaded and printed.

Category B Keys

Category B consists of keys that still offer useful information for the identification of species but need to be used alongside current checklists and more up to date keys.

Category C Keys

It is fully accepted that many of the older keys are now ‘out of date’ and should not be used for identification purposes. They can however, provide a useful service in allowing a better understanding of the species concept involved in some of the older species names recorded on the FRDBI. They can also provide an insight into the development of the taxonomic understanding of particular genera.