Its fruit bodies grow as striking golden-yellow shelf-like structures on tree trunks and branches. The cap is small and knob-shaped, overlapping in an irregular pattern. Wide, shaped like a fan and attached direct to the trunk of a tree, it has a shelf-like appearance and is sulphur-yellow to bright orange in colour and has a suedelike texture. When it is old the cap fades to tan or white. The shelves often grow in overlapping clumps, and each one may be anywhere from 5 to 60 cm in diameter and 4 cm thick.The undersurface of the fruit body is made up of tubelike pores rather than gills. It has a white spore print.
The mushroom grows on dead or mature hardwoods such as oak, cherry and beech from August to October or later, sometime as early as June. The species can also be found under conifers. It can usually be found growing in clusters.