This mushroom has a dark reddish brown cap and a smooth black central stalk giving rise to the common name (Photo A shows the cap). The cap is fairly large measuring from 2 to 8 inches wide. The cap is broadly convex to shallowly vase-shaped. The pore surface underneath is white but becomes dingy as the mushroom gets old (Photo B shows the pore surface and the stalk). The stalk is 3/8 to about 2 1/2 inches long.
This mushroom grows on decaying hardwood and conifers causing a white rot. It is fairly common in Fontenelle Forest in moist hollows. It usually grows in fall and winter.
It is extremely tough and leathery.
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