Apothecia 1.0-3.0 mm broad, circular in outline, at first cylindrical, then turbinate with a short, tapered stipe; margin even, lacking hairs; disc initially slightly concave, then plane, finally convex, apricot-orange, paler when unexposed to light; disc surface glabrous to the unaided eye; exterior surface pallid from a sparse white tomentum.
Spores 9.0-12.0 microns, globose, inamyloid, smooth with granular contents; asci 8-spored, uniseriate; spore deposit not seen.
Gregarious on branchlets of Cupressus, Thuja, Juniperus; also known from Sequoia sempervirens (redwood); fruiting in the fall and winter along the coast and in the spring in the Sierra Nevada mountains; occasional, but inconspicuous; possibly more common than records indicate.
Edibility unknown; insignificant.
Pithya cupressina is a small, orange cup fungus found on decaying litter of cypress relatives and redwood. Unlike some cup fungi, it is seldom found in the open, but fruits in deep shade or on partially buried duff, a likely reason for why it is seldom collected. Pithya vulgaris is similar but larger. According to the literature it occurs on needles of Abies (fir), Picea (spruce), and Pinus (pine). Compare with Cheilymenia species which occur mostly on dung; Scutellinia species differ in having long, marginal hairs; Aleuria aurantia typically is larger, cupulate, and terrestrial; Caloscypha fulgens is also larger, cupulate and terrestrial, but in addition tends to discolor bluish with age and handling.