Brownish, sticky cap, yellowish to rusty gills, and a ring on the stalk. Grows scattered or clustered on deciduous and coniferous logs. Year round, but especially September–November. Cap convex, becoming flatter; dark brown to tawny ochre, fading lighter; texture sticky, smooth. Gills broad; yellowish, becoming rusty; spacing close; gills attached. Stalk enlarging downward; off-white above, brownish black below; texture smooth or finely shaggy; hollow, with a ring. Partial veil white, leaving a ring on upper stalk. Spore print rusty. Spores magnified are elliptical, roughened, with slight depression.
Lookalikes: The velvet foot (Flammulina velutipes) does not have a ring and has white spores. The honey mushroom (Armillaria mellea) and ringless honey mushroom (A. tabescens) have white spores.