Small, reddish orange, vase-shaped; forked ridges on the underside descending the stalk. Grows in the soil. Late June to early August. Cap convex, becoming flat, with incurved, wavy margins; reddish orange, becoming pinkish with age; texture smooth. Underside reddish to pinkish, with thick-edged ridges that are forked, cross-veined, and descend the stalk; does not have true gills. Stalk can be tapering downward and can be off-center; reddish orange; texture smooth. Spore print pinkish-cream. Spores magnified are elliptical, smooth.
Lookalikes: The scarlet cup (Sarcoscypha dudleyi) fruits on dead branches and twigs.