Fruiting body conic to bell-shaped, gelatinous, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, pendulous, hanging from a lignicolous substrate via a point-like attachment; outer surface pebbled to wrinkled, minutely hairy, sometimes with a whitish bloom; hymenial surface flat to concave, glabrous, golden-yellow; fruiting body drying reddish-orange, the margin curling over the hymenial surface, capable of rehydrating and appearing normal.
Spores 14.5-17.0 x 4.5-6.0 µm, sausage-shaped, smooth, with 3-4 partitions when mature; basidia of the tuning-fork type; spore print not determined.
Scattered, gregarious, to clustered on decorticated conifer wood in the Sierra and higher elevations of the Coast Range; fruiting near melting snow during the spring; common.
Heterotextus alpinus is a montane, spring-fruiting counterpart to Tremella mesenterica and Dacrymces palmatus, common lowland jelly fungi. It can often be found on downed pines (Pinus sp.) and firs (Abies sp.) with other lignicolous fungi such as Chromosera cyanophylla, Lentinellus montanus, and Mycena overholtzii. The distinctively shaped fruiting body, conic to bell-shaped, and pendulous attachment to the substrate, are important field characters.