Woody, semicircular, brownish bracket; white underside bruises dark gray to black. Grows on dead wood or in wounds of living deciduous trees. Year-round. Cap shelflike, semicircular; brown to grayish black; texture woody, can be warty or zoned; very hard, not shiny. Pores circular; white when fresh, bruising dark gray to black; pore surface darkens when scratched. Stalk not present. Spore print brown. Spores magnified are elliptical, blunt at one end.
Lookalikes: There are other Ganoderma species, but the artist conk is pure white on the underside when fresh. The resinous polypore (Ischnoderma resinosum) exudes amber-colored droplets of moisture when young.