Pileus 10-50 mm broad, convex with strongly involute margin and slightly to distinctly umbilicate centre, expanding with age, often with irregularly undulating marginal zone, not hygrophanous, not translucently striate, dark violaceous-black, liliaceous-grey or violaceousgrey, uniformly coloured or distinctly darker at centre, entirely tomentose or velutinous, breaking up in small appressed or uplifted squamules with age, sometimes becoming rimose or fissurate when old, showing the pallid trama between the fibrils. Lamellae, L = 20-40, l = 1-9, adnexed to adnate, sometimes slightly emarginate or with decurrent tooth, rarely really decurrent, arcuate then segmentiform or (broadly) ventricose, white or pale cream, then pink with slightly irregular, concolorous edge. Stipe 30-80 × 2-4.5 mm, cylindrical or compressed with longitudinal groove, grey-violaceous or steel-grey, usually paler than pileus, longitudinally fibrillose to tomentose, with darker fibrils, base white or yellowish tomentose. Context concolorous with surface in cortex, pallid in inner parts. Smell none or sweet, like flowers. Taste mild or somewhat nasty-rancidulous.
Spores 9.0-11 .5( -12.5) x 6.0-8.0(-9.0) µm, Q = 1.2-1.7, heterodiametrical, 5-9-angled in side-view. Basidia 4-spored, clampless. Lamella edge sterile. Cheilocystidia 15-70 × 8-20 µm, cylindrical to clavate. Pileipellis a trichoderm, made up of inflated terminal elements, up to 25 µm wide. Pigment violaceous, intracellular in pileipellis. Clamps absent.
Habitat: in mossy grasslands, subalpine meadows, rarely in humus of deciduous forest (Corylus, Fraxinus, Alnus viridis), preferably on calcareous soil.
Distribution: Wide-spread and not uncommon; all over Europe, from the lowlands up into the subalpine zone.