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
Cap and stalk some dingy combination of grey, brownish or blackish, perhaps with tinges of olive, bluish or other faint colors; sometimes with minute scales or fibers Cap almost round, often virgate Flesh white to grey, tinged with various colors like cap Taste sometimes bitter Odor absent when fresh, sweet to spicy when dried