Stems of mature specimens of gnaphalium bicolor
are woody around the base, rising up to 4 feet tall and bearing narrow, stalkless leaves at quite closely-spaced intervals. The top of each stem splits a few times, each branch terminating in a dense cluster of between 25 and 50 small, egg-shaped flowers. The outer components of the flowers (the phyllaries) are white or pale yellow, while the central components (pistils) are yellowish brown. Stems have a covering of fine, downy hairs, as do the undersides of the leaves. The plant is largely confined to coastal regions of south and central California.