They grow from tubers. In the wild, they grow on parts of decaying trees in the ground. The tubers themselves are not edible (they contain dirt.)
The tubers can be planted in pots at home, providing a steady supply of the mushrooms
There are pores under the cap instead of gills.
They have mild flavour and good texture.
These are not the same as what Koreans call “stone mushrooms” — those are the mushrooms that the Chinese call “Cloud Ear Mushrooms”
“Stone Mushrooms” is sometimes also used to describe “Staddle Stones” — mushroom-shaped supports made out of stone used to raise food-storage buildings such as granaries or larders off the ground, to keep them away from the away and from rats on the ground.
Soak dry ones in water until soft, then use.
In the 1400s in Italy, it was believed that this mushroom grew from rocks which were fossilized lynx urine.
In Korea, “Stone Mushrooms” is used as another name for Cloud Ear Mushrooms; in Germany, it is used as another name for porcini mushrooms. In Britain, “stone mushrooms” is also another name for “staddle stones”, foundation stones which were used to keep barns and grain stores up off the ground and a bit less vulnerable to vermin.