Pezizomycetes - Pezizales
This class of ascomycete fungi is characterized by their disc- and cup-like fruiting bodies which have a layer of asci on their surface. These produce and discharge the ascospores through a special opening, the operculum. They are mainly saprobic and live in soil rich in organic matter or on decaying wood. Some species are edible, others are poisonous and some are plant pathogens.
The order of Pezizales contains more than 1500 species. The fruiting bodies can reach a size of up to 15 cm and are often stalked. The ascospores are elliptical or spherical and may be coloured. Plant pathogenic species include Phymatotrichopsis omnivora, causing cotton root rot.
The following genera and individual species are currently entered under this group: