Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
a group of sac fungi comprising several orders (more than 4,000 species). Discomycetes have open fruiting bodies (apothecia) that are mostly patelliform, with the hymenium opening upward. Most of the species of Discomycetes are members of the order Pezizales; their fruiting bodies are fleshy and often brightly colored. Discomycetes with black, elongated fruiting bodies opening in a narrow, longitudinal slit belong to the order Hysteriales. Discomycetes of the order Phacidiales are characterized by closed fruiting bodies that usually open in lobes upon maturing as a result of the rupture of the hyphae network that covers the hymenium. Discomycetes of the order Tuberales form fruiting bodies under the ground. The group Discomycetes includes saprophytes and parasites. Sclerotinia are especially harmful, especially to seed crops, stone-fruit, and vegetable crops. Edible members of the group include truffles, morels, and Gyromitra.