Like the common dandelion
, flowers of malacothrix glabrata
consist entirely of ray florets, numbering between 30 and 140 - usually yellow but occasionally white (a color more likely towards the outer edge of the flower), with flat tips that have four small notches, extending down to lengthwise grooves. One big difference between the two species is that leaves of the desert dandelion are finely divided, into long, thin, linear lobes.
The center of the flower is often reddish at the start of blooming, becoming yellow when fully mature. Florets mingle with numerous branched yellow stamens, which, like the petals, become shorter towards the middle. Underneath the flower are around 20 linear phyllaries, in 2 or 3 rows, of markedly different lengths. Phyllaries are green along the middle, white at the edges. Flowers are about 1.5 inches in diameter.