Cap 2.5-5 cm broad, convex, expanding to plano-convex; margin at first incurved then decurved to nearly plane; surface dry, patchy fibrillose, or with scattered squamules, sometimes radially cracked in age; color: yellow-orange, the disk darker, fading towards the margin; flesh yellowish-orange; taste bitter.
Gills adnate, close, moderately broad, at first yellow, at maturity tinged bright orange-brown to rusty brown.
Stipe 3-6 cm long, 5-7 mm thick, equal or tapering slightly towards the base, solid to stuffed, sometimes hollow in age; surface fibrillose, yellowish, bruising orange-brown; veil yellowish, fibrillose, evanescent, sometimes leaving fragments near the apex or on the immature cap margin.
Spores 7-10.5 x 4-6 µm, elliptical, roughened; spore print rusty-brown.
Solitary, scattered or clustered on downed conifer wood; common in our area on small branches or cones.
Inedible; very bitter.
Gymnopilus sapineus is characterized by a patchy squamulose, golden-orange cap, which sometimes cracks radially in age. The yellowish, fibrillose, evanescent veil and bruising of the stipe from yellowish-orange to orange-brown are also important field characters. Another Gymnopilus species commonly found in our area is G. luteocarneus. It differs in having a smoother, somewhat darker (orange-brown) cap.