Mycologia 63: 377. 1971.
Common Name: none
Synonym: Collybia albipilata Pcek
Cap 1.5-3.0 cm broad, convex, expanding to plano-convex, the disc with or without a low umbo; margin decurved, plane to sometimes raised at maturity, striate; surface glabrous to slightly wrinkled; color variable: at first, brown to greyish-brown, the margin typically lighter, fading to cream-buff or pale-tan; context thin, pallid, unchanging; odor and taste mild.
Gills adnexed, close, cream-colored; lamellule up to three-seried.
Stipe 1.5-6.0 cm long, 1.0-2.0 mm thick, straight to sinuous, round, more or less equal, hollow at maturity; surface pruinose except for the base, the latter clothed in soft, buff-colored hairs; apex whitish becoming yellowish-brown to dark tawny-brown below; partial veil absent.
Spores 4.0-6.5 x 3.0-3.5 µm, elliptical in face-view, slightly inequilateral in profile, smooth; inamyloid; spore deposit not seen.
Scattered to clustered on woody conifer debris, spring and fall in the Sierra; also along the coast north of the San Francisco Bay Area; fairly common.
Key to identifying this small wood rotter is recognizing its variable cap color. Young specimens are brown to grey-brown, typically fading to pale-grey or light-tan, but not to white as the species epithet suggests. Spring or snowbank fruitings of Strobiluris albipilatus are sometimes confused with Mycena griseoviridis, also small and lignicolous, but possessing a viscid, olivaceous, conic cap and amyloid spores. Fall fruitings along the coast should be compared with Strobiluris trullisatus and S. occidentalis. Strobiluris trullisatus has a paler, sometimes pinkish-tinged cap and fruits primarily on cones of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), while S. occidentalis, uncommon in California, fruits mostly on spruce cones (Picea stichensis). Yet another look-alike on Douglas fir cones, Baeospora myosura, differs in having crowded gills and smaller, slightly amyloid spores.
Desjardin, Dennis E. (1985). The Marasmioid Fungi of California. Masters Thesis. San Francisco State University: San Francisco, CA. 287 p.
Desjardin, Dennis E. (1987). The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 7. Tricholomataceae I. Marasmioid Fungi. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 100 p.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A. (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
Lennox, J.W. (1979). Collybioid genera in the Pacific Northwest. Mycotaxon 9(1): 117-231.
Peck, C.H. (1896). Report of the State Botanist 1895. Ann. Rep. NY State Mus. 49: 1-70. (Protologue)
Wells, V.L. & Kempton, P.E. (1971). Studies on the Fleshy Fungi of Alaska. V. The Genus Strobilurus with Notes on Extralimital Species. Mycologia 63(2): 370-379.