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This small, dark brown polypore distinguishes itself from similar species by having a stem which does not become black, a smooth (rather than hairy) cap margin, and tiny circular pores. It fruits on the deadwood of hardwoods, and has a special affinity for birch. The tough fruiting bodies are persistent and can be found year-round, but it tends to come up fresh in fall and spring. Cap: 2-8 cm; broadly convex with a tucked-under margin at first; becoming flat, or shallowly depressed; round in outline; dry; bald or very finely hairy; dark yellowish brown to dark brown. Pore Surface: Running slightly down the stem; white; not bruising; with 2-3 round pores per mm; tubes to 3 mm deep. Stem: Central or somewhat off-center; 2-4 cm long; 2-5 mm wide; equal; dry; bald or finely hairy; whitish to grayish or pale brownish; tough. Flesh: Whitish; thin; very tough. Spore Print: White. Microscopic Features: Spores 6-7 x 1-1.5 µ; cylindric; smooth; hyaline in KOH. Hymenial cystidia not found. Hyphal system dimitic. Clamp connections present.
Saprobic on decaying wood of hardwoods and especially frequent on dead birch wood; growing alone or gregariously; fall and spring, but found nearly year-round; widely distributed in Europe and North America.