The lichen body (thallus) is greenish grey in colour and covered in scales. From it rise trumpet-shaped structures, or podetia, that are up to 4 centimetres tall. The scales and podetia are covered with powdery dust from which a new lichen body grows. The podetia also bear brown spore-producing discs.
The cup lichen grows throughout Europe. It is typically found on acid soil and rotting wood or around the bases of old tree trunks. It can also be found on soil in sun or partial shade.