- cap is up to up to 30cm wide, convex shaped with a depressed center, brown with raised scales and a dry texture.
- flesh is white or tinted brown.
- underside of cap has brown spines that descend onto the stem.
- stem is smooth and light brown, thickening towards the base.
- grows singly or as several in areas with conifers.
- appears in sumer and fall.
- taste is mildly bitter with no odor; cook before eating.
- an edible look-alike is the less-palatable Sarcodon scabrosus, which is similar in appearance but the cap is more reddish with scales that are not raised, and the stem is dark blue/black at its base.