This section is from the book "Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc.", by George Francis Atkinson. Also available from Amazon: Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc..
This is one of the very small my-cenas, and with the brilliant red pileus and yellow gills and stem it makes a very pretty object growing on leaves, twigs, or rotten wood in the forest. It occurs during summer and autumn. It is 2-5 cm. high, the cap 2-4 mm. broad, and the stem is thread-like.
The pileus is very thin, membranaceous, bell-shaped, then convex, when the pointed apex appears as a small umbo. It is smooth, striate on the margin, and of a rich vermilion or orange color. The gills are rounded at the stem and adnexed, rather broad in the middle, distant, yellow, the edge white, or sometimes the gills are entirely white. The stem is very slender, with a root-like process entering the rotten wood, smooth except the hairs on the rootlike process, yellow. Figure 100 is from plants (No. 2780, C. U. herbarium) collected in a woods near Ithaca. It has been found here several times.