The yellow flowers of geraea canescens
resemble those of several other sunflower-type species of the western deserts; identifying features include the stems, which are (usually) branched rather than single, and the leaves, which are thick, ovate with a somewhat elongated, pointed tip, and covered in fine hairs. Basal leaves are larger and have short stalks; those higher up the stem are smaller and stalkless (sessile).
Flowers have between 10 and 21 bright yellow ray florets and several dozen central, orange-yellow disc florets which elongate when mature. Flower heads are supported by a single row of thin green phyllaries, each edged by fine hairs. The plant is common in some parts of the Mojave Desert, especially Death Valley.