The fruit bodies of the fungus are violet when young, but fade into a chocolate brown color when mature. The cap of the fruit body is 2.8 to 5.9 inches in diameter, initially convex in shape but becoming centrally depressed, with a broadly arched and rounded margin. The cap has a finely velvet-textured surface that soon wears off to become smooth. The color of the fruit body is violet when young, but dulls as it ages, becoming a dull violet-purplish-gray, then eventually chocolate-brown at maturity. The flesh is solid, white, and does not change color when cut or bruised. The color of the pore surface is initially white, and it remains so for a while before turning a rosy color at maturity. The stem is 3.1 to 5.1 inches long and 1.0 to 1.6 inches thick, enlarged at the base, and sometimes bulbous.
The fruit bodies are found growing singly, scattered or clustered together during mid-summer to autumn in deciduous forests, often under beech or oak trees; however, it sometimes occurs in mixed hardwood-conifer forests under hemlock.