Habitat: Western North America, occurring both in Rocky Mountain spruce-fir forests and the forests of the Cascades and coastal ranges.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Cortinarius variosimilis is a close, but distinct, relative of C. varius of Europe. In many ways, it is a pale form of the latter, lacking its distinctly bright lilac-blue gills and the strong yellow-brown to orange-brown colors of the cap. C. variosimilis has a yellow-brown cap often with white veil remnants along the edge, the gills are pale lilac or almost lack lilac color, and become gray-brown. The stipe is clavate, white or pale pinkish buff, and often coated with wooly white veil material. Potassium hydroxide turns the white flesh bright yellow.