Fruiting body annual, effused-reflexed, 2.0-2.5 cm long, 1.0-1.5 cm broad, thin, sessile, broadly conic to semicircular with a concave hymenial surface, often umbonate at the attachment point; margin wavy, sometimes fused to adjacent fruiting bodies; upper surface even to undulate with dense, mostly erect hairs, faintly-zoned, cream to buff-brown, the margin paler, senescent material greyish-white; hymenial surface glabrous with shallow bumps and depressions, pale-tan, at times dull-yellow or orange, inconspicuously-zoned; context cream-buff, about 1 mm thick, pliant when fresh, soon tough and leathery; in dry specimens the cap margin folded over the hymenium, reviving when moistened; odor and taste not distinctive.
Spores 5.5-7.5 x 2.0-2.5 microns, smooth, oblong to sausage-shaped, amyloid; spore deposit not seen.
Scattered to grouped in overlapping shelves on hardwood sticks and branches; fruiting from late fall to mid-winter.
Small and tough; of no culinary value.
Stereum ochraceo-flavum, like Stereum hirsutum, is commonly found on hardwoods, but while S. ochraceo-flavum favors sticks and small branches, S. hirsutum is usually found on logs. The two species are also distinguished by cap differences, best seen in fresh material. The pileus of Stereum ochraceo-flavum is buff to tan-brown, indistinctly-zoned, and uniformly hairy, while that of Stereum hirsutum is orange-brown to greyish-orange, conspicuously-zoned with hairs which weather away on at least some of the concentric rings. Besides typical shell-shaped sporocarps, Stereum ochraceo-flavum may also form distinctive "saucer-shaped" fruiting bodies, partially or completely surrounding the sticks on which they grow. Look-alikes include Trametes versicolor (Turkey-tail) which can be separated by a pored, not glabrous hymenial surface, and Schizophyllum commune, similar with a shaggy, greyish pileus, but distinguishable by a "gill-like," not glabrous hymenium.