Fruiting body up to 9 cm tall, 6 cm wide, moderately branched, arising from a common base; individual branches often sinuous, tending to produce a flattened or "crested" apical growth, the tips pointed or rounded; surface smooth to slightly wrinkled, dull from a powdery bloom, lilac-grey to, grey, becoming greyish-brown in age; stipe short or absent; context pallid, brittle; odor and taste mild.
Spores 7-10.5 x 5.5-9 µm, subglobose, oval to broadly elliptical, smooth, nonamyloid; basidia 2-spored; spores whitish in deposit.
Scattered or in small groups on soil or in duff of hardwood/conifer woods; fruiting from mid to late winter.
Edible, but lacking in texture.
Relatively uncommon and inconspicuous, this drab coral fungus is easily overlooked. Fresh specimens may have an attractive lilac tinge, but are usually dull grey or brown in age. Clavulina cristata is a whitish cousin which fruits abundantly under pine. The two share a similar growth form, i.e. branches which tend to be flattened apically. Interestingly, specimens of both species can be found with pointed or rounded branch tips and some authors theorize that this "clubbing" may be caused by a parasitizing fungus. Several small Ramaria species resemble Clavulina cinerea, but can be distinguished by their 4-spored basidia.