Fruiting body at first hypogeous, then partially erumpent to epigeous; 1.5-6.5 cm broad, irregularly shaped, but usually oval to pulvinate in outline, frequently with bumps or shallow folds; peridium matted-fibrillose, pale yellow to ochraceous, covered by a network of darker rhizomorphs, i.e. yellowish-buff to yellow-brown, in age or when handled, reddish-brown; peridum reddening in KOH; spore-bearing tissue finely textured, firm, pale grey, becoming dingy-olivaceous to ochraceous-brown; at maturity, spongy, sometimes partially liquifying; odor when fresh, of "mushrooms," fruity, suggestive of Suillus pungens, in age, of dirty sweat socks; taste mild; columella absent.
Spores 5-7 x 2-2.5 µm, oblong to elliptical, smooth.
Solitary to clustered under conifers; common under Monterey pine (Pinus radiata); fruiting throughout the rainfall season, but most common in early fall.
Our most common Rhizopogon species, this pine-inhabiting "false truffle" is recognized by it yellowish to tawny-brown peridium with contrasting, appressed rhizomorphs that typically become reddish to reddish brown in age or from handling.