Described from Mount Baker in Washington, USA by Smith (1944). According to Desjardin et al. (2016) it belongs in the genus Gymnopus, but molecular phylogenetic evidence is lacking for that placement.
A small, whitish to pinkish mushroom growing on woody debris in spring and summer, typically near melting snowbanks. Common, but easily overlooked because of its small size and cryptic fruiting habits (on the inside of bark around rotting logs and stumps, or underside of woody debris). Currently known from ~75 collections from ~45 locations in California, and 225+ collections from elsewhere in western North America, a majority of which come from Oregon.
Because of the widespread distribution and no documented decline, we suggest listing this species as Least Concern (LC).
Widespread across the mountains of western North America, common in the Sierra Nevada, and Cascade Range in California and Oregon, occasional in Washington cascades and the Rocky Mountains.
Currently known from ~75 collections from ~45 locations in California, and 225+ collections from elsewhere in western North America, a majority of which come from Oregon (Siegel et al. 2019, mycoportal.org 2020). There is no evidence to suggest that this species is in decline.
Suitable habitat appears to be restricted to higher elevation forests with abundant large-diameter woody debris, which experience ample, persistent winter snowpack.
Population Trend: Stable
Scattered in small clusters or solitary on rotting logs, stumps and other woody debris of conifers. Saprotrophic; it prefers fruiting on the underside/inside of bark layers around decaying stumps and fallen trunks, typically near melting snowbanks in spring and summer. Suitable habitat appears to be restricted to higher elevation forests with abundant large-diameter woody debris, which experience ample, persistent winter snowpack.
No data is available showing if this species needs a winter snowpack to fruit. The declining winter snowpack in the Sierra Nevada has altered the habitat in which this species occurs; however, it’s still unknown if it affects this species.
Desjardin, D.E. and Redhead. S.A. 1987. California Collybias. I. Collybia bakerensis, a common snowbank agaric. Mycotaxon 29: 321–327.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. and Stevens, F.A. 2015. California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
MyCoPortal. 2020. Mycology Collections Portal. Available at: http://mycoportal.org
Siegel, N., Vellinga, E.C., Schwarz, C., Castellano, M.A. and Ikeda, D. 2019. A Field Guide to the Rare Fungi of California’s National Forests. Bookmobile: Minneapolis, MN. 313 p.
Smith, A.H. 1944. Interesting North American Agarics. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 71:390–409.