Fruiting body up to 10 cm broad, bracket to shelf-like or fan-shaped, attached along one side or just near the middle of one side, the upper surface tomentose, with multicolored zones. Flesh thin, usually less than 2 mm thick, white, tough, and fibrous. The underside a white to pale yellow layer of very small tubes, vertically oriented with 3-5 pores per mm, the tube mouths more or less round.
Spores 4-6 x 1.5-2.5 µm, slightly curved-cylindrical (like a cooked hotdog), smooth, hyaline, white to pale yellow in deposit.
Typically in rows or overlapping shelves on stumps and logs of hardwoods, from fall to spring.
Too tough to try.
Though fruiting during the fall and winter months, shelves of the colorful turkey tail can be found almost any month of the year. Trametes versicolor is sometimes confused with unrelated leathery shelf fungi. Species of Stereum have orange-brown zoned caps but can be distinguished by their smooth hymenial surface. Lenzites, Daedalea, Daedaleopsis, and Gloeophyllum all have a multicolored, zonate upper surfaces, but their hymeniums are variously composed of irregular, mazelike, or elongated gill-like pores.