Leaves, stems and bracts of cordylanthus parviflorus
have a covering of short,sticky, glandular hairs, mixed with longer, non-glandular hairs. Upper stem leaves are entire, while those towards the base are three-lobed.
The inflorescence is an open cluster, its branches topped by solitary or paired flowers, each subtended by one narrowly lanceolate outer bract (less often two), which, like the leaves, is three-lobed, and also an unlobed inner bract. Bracts are often purplish. The sheath-like calyx is divided to the base into two lobes, partially enclosing the pink/purple corolla, which has two lips, the lower much smaller than the (pouched) upper. The corolla lips are crossed by darker veins. The lower lip is whitish at the tip. The greenish-yellow stigma is slightly exserted.