Distribution: N. lepideus is not common in natural habitats, but can be found on conifer logs and stumps in some areas. It is a brown-rot fungus and is more commonly encountered on construction timbers, railroad ties, and, in the past, on automobile frames when they were made of wood. It can occur almost any time but is most common in summer and fall.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Neolentinus lepideus (= Lentinus lepideus (Fries: Fries) Fries) is a tough-fleshed mushroom that probably is more closely related to polypores than to most gilled mushrooms. It has a whitish to pale yellowish depressed cap with large brown, often flattened, scales. The gills are whitish and have saw-toothed edges. The white stipes are tough and thick, often with a ring, and the lower portions bear small brownish scales. Both gills and stipe may become rusty to reddish brown in age. The odor of fresh specimens is fragrant, sometimes anise-like. N. ponderosus (O. K. Miller) Redhead & Ginns is a similar tan to yellowish brown species commonly found on conifer wood such as pine stumps during late spring and summer at higher elevations. It lacks a partial veil and therefore has no ring.