Purple Fairy Club with its dull purple colors and densely packed, non-branching fruiting bodies are distinctive enough that you will probably not need to use a microscope or a DNA sequencer to identify the mushroom successfully.
Traditionally presumed to be saprobic but new studies suggest the possibility that it is associated with mosses, I wonder whether it might be associated with spruces as i always see them growing in tight clusters in conifer forests that contain lots of spruce trees. They are widely distributed in northern, montane, and western North America. I see them quite often on Vancouver Island.
They can reach heights of up to 15 cm high and are up to 6 mm wide, they are spindle-shaped, unbranched, sometimes somewhat flattened, or with a groove or a twist and very pretty to the eye. At one time it was known as clavaria purpurea, it has now been moved to its own genus as a result of phylogenetic analysis, it is now officially known as alloclavaria puppurea.
When you out walking in a dark mossy forest, keep your eyes on the lookout for this purple beauty. I don’t often see it, but my last sighting, just last fall, I had the pleasure of seeing a huge grouping of them alongside a trail in Sayward BC. There were fairy clubs coming up on both sides of the trail for about 50 meters, it was such a wonder.
Although this is an edible mushroom, it has a dull fishy flavor and is not very tasty, I would just enjoy any sighting you see, take some photos and leave it in the ground.