Bright orange to yellow cap, wavy margins; smooth on the underside. Grows singly or in groups of up to very many in the soil. Late June to early August. Cap convex, becoming flat to funnel shaped, sunken in center, sometimes flowerlike; orange to orange-yellow; texture smooth. Underside orange to yellow, smooth or slightly ridged; does not have true gills. Stalk can be curved or off-center; orange to yellowish to whitish; texture smooth; flesh is white. Spore print pinkish yellow. Spores magnified are elliptical, smooth.
Lookalikes: The poisonous jack-o’-lantern (Omphalotus illudens) grows clustered on stumps or buried wood, has close, sharp-edged gills, and fruits in the fall. The hedgehog (Hydnum repandum) has a toothed underside. The golden chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) has forked ridges on the underside.