The tall, thick, greenish-purple stems of stachys rigida
are usually erect but can bend back down towards the ground. Green leaves grow at intervals most of the way up the stem; they have the familiar nettle-like appearance of an uneven, veiny surface covered with fine, short hairs. Stems and bracts are also hairy. Bilaterally symmetric flowers form in rounded clusters of between six and ten blooms, with up to a dozen clusters per stem, one or two inches apart. Each flower has a tubular corolla, colored white with pink or purple blotches, opening to two lips; the upper is undivided but notched, while the longer lower lip is divided into three rounded lobes.