Rosettes or clusters of fleshy, cream-colored caps; pores whitish, descending the stalk. Grows on the ground near tree bases. July–October. Each cap convex or flat, becoming depressed in the center; cream-colored; texture dry, hairy or smooth, can be rough or pitted; flesh white, thick, firm, becoming tough; odor mild and earthy, becoming strong. Pores wide, angular; whitish, becoming dingy; pores descending stalk. Stalk rooting; yellowish. Spore print white. Spores magnified are round, colorless, warted.
Lookalikes: Hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa) has many smaller, grayish to brownish caps. Black-staining polypore (Meripilus sumstinei) blackens when bruised or handled. Eastern cauliflower mushroom (Sparassis spatulata) has ribbonlike folds.