The divided, stalked leaves of hydrophyllum fendleri
are large and grow quite profusely, and the plant generally inhabits shady, overgrown locations in woodland, hence the open clusters of white or very pale purple flowers can sometimes be hard to spot, even though they are borne a little way above the uppermost leaves. Leaves, stems and the thin, green, pointed sepals have a covering of long, rigid hairs. Stems are unbranched. The five-lobed, bell-shaped flowers are also hairy, on the outside, and are centered on five long, pale purple stamens which protrude well beyond the edge of the corolla. The plant is relatively common, found in scattered locations in most of the western states.