The cap is orange-brown, paler towards the margin, and darker (even very dark brown) in the center, up to 10 cm in diameter. It develops an umbo when expanded, and has a strongly striated margin. Its surface is smooth, slightly sticky and slippery when moist and glistens; later it may dry. The gills are free, close, and broad. The flesh is white to cream. The stem or stipe is white and smooth or powdery, sometimes tinged with orange-brown and with very fine hairs. It is slender, ringless, hollow and quite fragile, tapering towards the top; up to 15 cm tall and 1 to 1.5 cm in thickness. The universal veil which initially encapsulates the fruiting body is torn and develops into a white, sack-like volva with characteristic rusty-brown blemishes. The cap is usually free of volval remnants.
Amanita fulva is a classic European species from the vaginata group, featuring a tawny brown cap and a reddish-brown-staining volva; we have several potential species in North America that match its general description but are probably genetically distinct. These North American fulva-like entities are, for the time being at least, unnamed, so we are currently listing them under Amanita fulva until further information is available.
It is generally found with oak, birch, spruce, pine, chestnut and alder, with which it forms mycorrhizae. It grows in acidic soils and fruits from summer to late autumn.