Phaeolus schweinitzii

Cortinarius husseyiKey to Gilled Mushrooms     Key
This is a key to gilled mushrooms, that is, mushrooms having a definite cap with a fertile surface consisting of gills. The fruiting body usually also has a stem, although that may be lateral or absent (usually, then, the mushroom is growing from wood). You can use this key to identify mushrooms that you find.

Fomes fomentariusPolyporaceae     Family
Fertile surface usually a layer of vertical tubes, of which the mouths are visible as pores on the underside of the cap or shelf.
Fruiting bodies usually tougher or harder than the "normal" gilled mushrooms, being leathery, corky, or woody. But they can be quite tender while actively growing
Once grown, they do not decay easily, remaining on the substrate for months or years
They often grow on wood, although a few are terrestrial (even those are usually growing on buried wood)
Fruiting body is usually a flat shelf, or hoof-shaped, protruding directly from the substrate, although sometimes it may have a short stalk.
Some forms never grow away from the substrate at all, so that all that is visible of the fruiting body are the pores.
Sometimes the pores are so minute that the fertile surface seems solid, until you look closely

Bondarzewia berkeleyiTerrestriopolypore     Subfamily
Growing on ground

Grifola frondosaBig Terrestriopolypore     Tribe
Large (6-18" or more across), compound fruiting body with irregular caps, usually right next to a tree or even surrounding it
Flesh flexible, tough but not hard

Bondarzewia berkeleyiFewocappus     Subtribe
Fruiting body composed of a few large caps, each larger than a three or four inches across

Phaeolus     Genus
Colorful furry caps and (non-furry) pore surface, darkening to black (and bald) in age
Primarily on living conifers, although it will continue to decay them after they have been killed (standing trees, stumps, and logs); rarely on hardwoods
Links from Look-alikes
Medium Sessilopolypore     Subtribe
Inonotus dryadeus
Fruiting body medium-sized, soft; shelving, often hairy or velvety when young, becoming smooth in age, often imbricate or compound
Brownish or bright yellow cap surface with (when young) whitish pores
Usually exuding liquid when squeezed or cut; often beaded with droplets on its own

Phaeolus schweinitzii     (Fries) Patouillard

Here are the characters that distinguish this species from the others in its group. For its more general characters, see higher up on the page.
If there's just a few words or a microscopic feature here, a more thorough description can be found above.