Mycena vitilis  (Fr.) Quél. 1872

Collection: Sierra Nevada, 2008/11/26 river seepage area, Alnus rubra, Rhamnus purshiana, etc.

It appears that Mycena vitilis is a rather variable species, as well as the general concept seems to be somewhat unsettled. The color of the pileus has been described in various ways, not overlapping entirely, some lighter some darker, some with emphasis on gray, others on brown. There seems to be more agreement on the cheilocystidia shape, which is quite distinct with the long, often furcated excrescences above the clavate to irregularly shaped body. Here is a diagram of the basic features vs. the various authors.
Author Pileal color Cystidia Match Photo Match
Brian Perry (Mycena of California Masters Thesis) brownish gray to light brown, or dark brown on the disc. ++ N/A
Maas Geesteranus (Mycenas in the Northern Hemisphere) sepia gray brown, mostly darker to very dark sepia brown or black brown at the centre + N/A
A.H. Smith (North American Species of Mycena) color "drab" when fresh, fading to pale gray or nearly white in age, sometimes with a strong brownish tint when fresh and fading to clay color, at least aro8und the disc. +/- N/A
A. Aronsen (Mycena of Noraway) grey-brown to pale grey, darker at the centre, paler to almost white at the margin. ++ ++/-
G. Robich (Mycena D'Europa) crema-grigio, crema grigio pallido, grigio-bianco, grigio-crema chiaro da giovane poi grigio-ocraceo, grigio-bruni. +++ +/-

Typical cheilocystidia