The fruitbody is pendent and consists of a short stem that hangs down from the lower surface of dead wood lying on the ground and widens to a circular and markedly broader base that has pores on the underside. The angular pores are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Apart from the pores, the fruitbody is velvety ( at least initially). Individual fruitbodies may grow to a centimetre or two in diameter (though often less) and neighbouring fruitbodies may merge to create irregularly-shaped composites. The stems may be up to 1 cm long, but often are shorter.
The fruitbody is pale brown to dark rusty brown, soft and fragile.
The colour, pores and pendent growth form make this a distinctive species. You do find small, brown, stemmed fruitbodies in the genus Coltricia - but they grow upright from the ground.
One species or many?
Coltriciella dependens has been reported from many countries and the original description was based on material collected in South Carolina. Tedersoo et al (see references) said that, rather than being a single widespread species, a number of macroscopically similar species may hide under that name. Bian et al questioned the sense of keeping Coltricia and Coltriciella as separate genera. Until those issues are resolved, it is convenient and sensible to use Coltriciella dependens for those fungi with these pendent fruitbodies.
Bian, L.-S. & Dai, Y.-C. (2020).Molecular phylogeny and morphology reveal two new species of Coltricia (Hymenochaetaceae Basidiomycota) from China, Mycological Progress, 19,657–666.
Tedersoo, L., Suvi, T., Beaver, K. & Saar, I. (2007). Ectomycorrhizas of Coltricia and Coltriciella (Hymenochaetales, Basidiomycota) on Caesalpiniaceae, Dipterocarpaceae and Myrtaceae in Seychelles, Mycological Progress, 6, 101–107.