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Hymenial cystidia with crystal head
A selection of different cystids: A) thin-walled, B) thick-walled; 1) finger-shaped branched (diverticulat), 2) tapered (lecythiform), 3) bottle-shaped (lageniform), 4) pear-shaped (pyriform), 5) (with hooks Pluteus sect.  Pluteus ), 6) the crystal-supporting (metuloid)

The cystids are usually conspicuous, sterile cells that can occur between the basidia in the fruit layer ( hymenium ) of lamellar fungi . They can also be found on the stem bark and the cap skin, where they also usually stand out clearly from other cells and protrude more or less from the tissue association. Their presence and the shape of the cystidia are often decisive for a microscopic identification of the species or genus.

Depending on where they occur, a distinction is made between cheilo, pleuro, pileo and caulocystidia. The first two are grouped together as hymenial cystids and the last two as dermatocystids. Chryso-, Gleo-, Pseudo- and Leptocystiden are divided according to location-independent criteria.

The true cystids have grown on the subhymenium. Those that arise deeper from the trama are called pseudocystides.


According to the place

In the fruit layer (hymenial cystidia)


The cheilocystids are located on the blade edge of agaric mushrooms. Often they are thin-walled and can be seen with the naked eye because the blade edge is colored differently than its surface.


The pleurocystids are located on the lamellar surface and are rarer than the cheilocystids. They are often difficult to find. A lamellar cross-section is usually necessary to be able to detect them microscopically.

On the hat and stick (dermatocystides)


The pileocystids are on the surface of the hat. In terms of shape, they are usually similar to the cheilo or pleurocystidia. The cap surfaces of the mushrooms are hairy and velvety or finely frosted.


The Caulozystiden (or Kaulozystiden ) are located on the stem surface. Their shapes and structures often resemble those of the cheilocystids; however, they are often slightly larger. Therefore, the presence of these cystids can usually be seen with the naked eye or a magnifying glass. The stem surface appears downy, hairy or tomentose.

According to other criteria


The chrysocystids have refractive substances that turn yellow in potassium hydroxide or ammonia .

Gloeocystidae and sulfocystidae

The gleocystids or gloeocystids contain an oily or oily substance that behaves metachromatically with cresyl blue , that is, it takes on a different color from that of the dye. Gleocystides are usually difficult to recognize, but can often be stained blue, gray or wine-red with sulfovanillin in order to be more recognizable. Gleocystidae are more common in non-leaf mushrooms , such as porlingen or bark mushrooms . In the case of the bark fungi, the ability to color the gloeocystidia with sulfoaldehyde reagents is an important feature. Gloeocystids that can be stained with these reagents are also referred to as sulfopositive. Sulfopositive gloeocystids are also called sulfocystids .

Lampro- and Lyocystiden and Metuloids

Lamprocystidae are macrocystidae that occur, for example, in some types of milkweed or in some bark fungi. They differ from common macrocystids by their thick cell walls (3–4 µm), their mostly cylindrical or lanceolate shape and their hyaline content. In Milchlingen they occur mainly in tropical species, only in the Brätlings Milchling as the only European species they are also found. If they appear on the lamellar edges, they are also referred to as cheilolamprocystids ; if they are found on the lamellar surfaces, they are also referred to as pleurolamprocystids . Metuloid cystids or simply metuloids are thick-walled cystids with a crystal head on their apex, as they occur, for example, in some crack fungi , but also in some crust fungi , for example within the peniophora . Thick-walled cystids, the walls of which dissolve quickly in dilute KOH, are also called lyocystids .


Leptocystids are thin-walled cystids. If they are on the lamellar edges, they are also called cheiloleptocystids, if they are on the lamellar surface they are also called pleuroleptocystids.

Positional cystidia

Lagenocystids are narrow, cylindrical cystids that are abruptly narrowed at the top to a short, thread-like part that is heavily encrusted.


Noticeably long and large cystids in deafblings and milklings are also known as macrocystids. The term was originally introduced by Romagnesi to describe cystids in Russula species. However, the term is used particularly often for milk babies. Macrocystides are primarily characterized by the fact that they contain needle-like crystals or fine oil droplets or have a granular content that turns gray to blackish with sulfovanillin or other sulfo-benzaldehydes. Macrocystids usually arise deep in the hymenium , i.e. the layer of fruit that forms the basidia . They are usually thin-walled and conical to spindle-shaped. If the macrocystids are on the lamellar surface, they are also referred to as pleuromacrocystids ; if they are found on the lamellar edges, they are referred to as cheilomacrocystids .


Paracystides are poorly differentiated, mostly more or less hair-like cystides on the blade edge ( see here ).


Usually, cystids have their origin in the subhymenium . In some fungal groups and species, however, cystid-like hyphae are observed that arise much deeper from the trama (inner fungal tissue). In such a case one speaks of pseudocystidia. Pseudocystids occur, for example, in roof fungi , where the cystids arise from the lamellar trama. As the name suggests, pseudocystids are not true cystids.


Septocystids are cystids which, apart from their basal septum, have additional septa. It may be that the septa have buckles or are buckled.


Skeletocystiden are unbranched skeletal hyphae that are wider at their upper end and end as cystids in the hymeniun.


Cystidiols are thin-walled, cystid-like hyphae in the hymenium that sometimes protrude or can be specially shaped. Similar to the term "cystide", the term cystidiols is also used in different narrow or broad terms by different authors.



  • Ewald Gerhardt: FSVO manual mushrooms. 4th, revised edition, (special edition). BLV, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-8354-0053-3 , p. 60.

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Flammer: Page no longer available , search in web archives: Pilzlexikon. Microscopy: cell structures and cystidia (PDF; 1.1 MB). On: . October 24, 2010. Accessed May 7, 2011. (PDF; 924 kB)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  2. Gleozystide ( Memento of the original from March 1, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in the mushroom dictionary  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ^ A b Jacob Heilmann-Clausen, Annemieke Verbeken, Jan Vesterholt: The genus Lactarius (=  Fungi of Northern Europe . Vol. 2). Danish Mycological Society, Greve 1998, ISBN 87-983581-4-6 , pp. 19-21 (English).
  4. a b c d German Josef Krieglsteiner (Ed.): Die Großpilze Baden-Württemberg . Volume 1: General Part. Stand mushrooms: jelly, bark, prick and pore mushrooms. Ulmer, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-8001-3528-0 , pp. 53-56.
  5. Maria Teresa Basso: Lactarius Pers (=  Fungi Europaei . Vol. 7). Mykoflora, Alassio (Savona) 1999, ISBN 88-87740-00-3 , p. 42 (Italian).
  6. Ewald Gerhart: Mushrooms. Volume 1: lamellar mushrooms, pigeons, milklings and other groups with lamellae. BLV-Verlags-Gesellschaft, Munich et al., 1984, ISBN 3-405-12927-3 , p. 35.
  7. Hermann Jahn: Stereoide mushrooms in Europe (Stereaceae Pil. Emend. Parm. Et al., Hymenochaete) . with special consideration of their occurrence in the Federal Republic of Germany. In: Westphalian mushroom letters . VIII., No. 4-7 , 1971 ( Westphalian mushroom letters [PDF; 5,7 MB ]).

Web links

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