Cap 4-9 cm broad, convex, often with a low umbo, expanding to nearly plane; margin incurved at first, undulate, sometimes raised in age; surface moist, soon dry, smooth, in dry weather cracked, occasionally areolate; color: olive-brown, grey-brown, yellowish-brown, the margin usually paler; flesh white, thick, usually turning pale pink when injured; odor: mild when young, soapy at maturity; taste: soapy.
Gills adnexed to notched, subdistant, broad, white to pallid, sometimes with a faint greenish cast.
Stipe 4.5-8 cm tall, 1.5-2.0 cm thick, solid, equal to ventricose, sometimes tapering to a narrowed, slightly rooted base; surface smooth or finely scaled, pallid to tinged like the cap, bruising slowly yellowish-brown to brown where handled, staining pinkish where injured, particularly at the base; veil absent.
Spores 5-6.5 x 3.5-4.5 µm, elliptical, smooth, nonamyloid; spore print white.
Solitary to gregarious in hardwood/conifer woods; fruiting from after the fall rains to December and January.
Tricholoma saponaceum is one of the chameleons of the mushroom world. Depending on the collection, the cap surface may vary from smooth, cracked to areolate, the color from olive-grey, grey brown to yellowish brown. Typical material is usually colored some shade of olive-grey, the cap smooth. Additional field characters that help distinguish this mushroom include well-spaced, pallid gills, often an enlarged mid-stipe, a soapy somewhat unpleasant odor at maturity, and a pinkish-staining stipe base.