One distinguishing characteristic of oreocarya humilis
, a common and relatively widespread species, is that the creamy white corolla lobes, when fully open, bend back below the plane, fully exposing the ring of yellow appendages at the center. The corolla becomes brown as it withers. The green, five-lobed calyx has a dense covering of soft, spreading hairs. The calyx is approximately equal in length to the corolla tube. The inflorescence is a dense, cylindrical cluster, not noticeably elongated like other species in this genus.
Plants are variable in height; a few inches to one foot. Plants produce several upright stems, covered by soft strigose hairs and sparser spreading bristly hairs. Leaves are wider towards the tip, angled upwards, and usually partly folded up along the midvein.