Grayish brown, flat cap and a long, slender stalk that continues underground. Grows singly or scattered on and around deciduous trees and stumps. July–October. Cap slightly convex, becoming flat, with a knob in the center; grayish brown to dark brown; center knob is darker; texture tacky or moist; surface wrinkled. Gills broad; spacing distant; white; attached. Stalk enlarging toward the soil line; continues rootlike under the soil and tapers to a point; whitish above the soil, brownish below; snaps when broken. Spore print white. Spores magnified are smooth, colorless, elliptical.
Lookalikes: There are many other brownish mushrooms, but this one has a “root.” When it comes to the many Xerula species, proper identification really depends on microscopic examination.