One identifying characteristic of thermopsis divaricarpa
are the stipules (leafy growths) at the base of the leaf stalks; they are relatively wide, and oval in outline; other species have stipules in a variety of other shapes. This is a low-growing species, found in sunny or partly shaded locations in a wide range of elevations. Leaves are trifoliate, often folded slightly upwards along the axis, and have very fine hairs along the edges; stems and calyx are also finely hairy. The all-yellow flowers have a typical pea-shape, with the upper, lobed banner petal curving backwards above the two wings, which enclose the keel. Seed pods are slightly curved, hairy and terminate in a curved spike.