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Recognized in the field by its white colors and "cristate" branch tips, which are flattened and feature several tiny points Fruiting Body: 2-10 cm high; 3-10 cm wide; sparingly to (more commonly) repeatedly branched. Branches: 2-5 mm thick; smooth; white, sometimes becoming pinkish to pale pinkish brown with age; tips colored like the sides, flattened and "cristate" with several sharp points; grayish to brownish when dried for the herbarium; when parasitized becoming dark gray to black from the base upward, and eventually blackish overall. Base: When present .5-3 cm long; up to about 0.5 cm wide; white (gray to black when parasitized). Flesh: Whitish; fairly brittle.
Mycorrhizal with conifers and perhaps with hardwoods; growing alone, gregariously, or in clusters; summer and fall (over winter in warm climates); widely distributed in North America.