Cap 2.0-6.0 cm broad, at first conic with a pointed umbo, expanding to plano-umbonate; margin decurrent, then level to upturned, occasionally rimose in age; surface silky-fibrillose, hygrophanous, translucent-striate when moist, pale-tan to straw-colored in youth, greyish-buff in age, sometimes developing tawny tints; context relatively thin, up to 2.0 mm thick at the disc, pallid, unchanging or darkening slightly; odor not distinctive; taste variable: mild to unpleasant.
Gills adnexed, fairly well spaced to sub-distant, relatively broad, up to 7.0 mm in width, cream-buff at first, dingy-tan in age, often tinged pinkish from maturing spores; lamellulae in up to four series.
Stipe 3.0-6.0 (8.0) cm long, 3.0-6.0 mm thick, slightly enlarged towards the base, round to flattened in cross-section or longitudinally grooved, hollow to stuffed at maturity, fragile, readily splitting when handled; surface of upper portion pruinose, elsewhere appressed fibrillose-striate, the striations tan over a pallid ground color, white rhizomorphs at base; partial veil absent.
Spores 8.0-11.0 x 6.0-7.5 µm, pentagonal to hexagonal in face and side-view, smooth, hilar appendage inconspicuous; spore print pinkish-brown.
Solitary, scattered, or in small clusters under montane conifers in the spring; common.
Hallmarks of this common montane species is a silky, buff-colored, pointed cap and pinkish-brown spore print. A related species, Nolanea verna var. isodiametrica, with which it sometimes fruits, can be distinguished by a darker brown color and cap which lacks a translucent-striate margin when young. A third less frequently encountered species, N. cetrata var. cetra, has a convex, not pointed cap, the latter with a brown disc and striations over a lighter-brown ground color.