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.

Advanced Search


Title Date Posted Category
Hypoxylon Pt3 24/04/2018 A Details


Published in Field Mycology 9(3) This third and final article on Hypoxylon in Britain and Ireland deals with species having rounded, hemispherical or pustulate stromata [masses of tissue in or on which the fruitbodies or spores are produced]. These include many of the more familiar species which occur on birch, beech, oak and ash.
Hypoxylon Pt2 24/04/2018 A Details


Published in Field Mycology 9(2) This second article on Hypoxylon in Britain and Ireland …. deals with those species of Hypoxylon having effused or flattened fruiting bodies, and a real or perceived affinity to Hypoxylon rubiginosum.
Leccinum - Synoptic Key 24/04/2018 A Details


From the 39 species recognized in the recent literature, current concepts have reduced the total to just 14, a dramatic reduction by any standards. Presented here is a revised synoptic key based on this work and Geoffrey’s own field observations with notes and descriptions explaining some of the more surprising synonymies and name changes. It is important to stress, as do Bakker and Noordeloos, that our knowledge is not now complete, but it is fair to say that the view of species which they present probably reflects what is ‘out there’ more accurately than any other to date.
Mycena - making a start 24/04/2018 A Details


This paper, based on a paper prepared for the Leicestershire Fungus Recording Group, is a good introduction to this genus which contains many beautiful species. It allows the beginner to do exactly what the title implies. The reader is led gently into more and more detail till the species characteristics become clear. Species are grouped together in useful groupings for study and identification as far as it is possible in the field. Helpful micro characters are added together with a section on how to prepare material and how to study it with the microscope.
Quick Waxcap Key 24/04/2018 A Details


Galerina - Synoptic Key 24/04/2018 A Details


This key by David Savage, 2008 is intended as an alternative approach to fitting Galerina specimens to the descriptions in British Fungus Flora Vol. 7 (Watling & Gregory). Most of the species in BFF 7 are included in the key. No account has been made for any changes to species descriptions, limits, or names, made since the issue of BFF 7.
Naucoria in Britain by Alick Henrici.pdf 24/04/2018 A Details


Cup Fungi of Britain Pt3 24/04/2018 A Details


Cup Fungi of Britain Pt1 24/04/2018 A Details


Clavaria - yellow species 24/04/2018 A Details


Published in Field Mycology 9 (4) ‘…we now have three yellow or yellowish Clavaria species in the British Isles, all of them unbranched (tubular or clubshaped) and distinctly pale or dull compared with the much commoner and brighter yellow Clavulinopsis species. As with the black and brown Clavaria species (Roberts, 2007), the literature on these species is scattered, so a brief key and descriptions follow.


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.