Although small, dalea mollis
is a distinctive species, with long, white, spreading hairs, and red oil glands, on the stems, leaves and calyces. Leaves have a terminal leaflet and from three to seven pairs of lateral leaflets, grey-green in color and usually obovate in shape, quite thick, and often folded along the midvein. Leaf glands are on the undersurfaces. Stems are reddish.
Flowers have a tubular calyx, up to 0.4 inches long, with ten ribs, divided half way into five narrow, needle-like lobes, densely long-hairy. Flowers are purple with white patches; the banner petal has a green blotch at the center. The keel petal is similar in length to the wing petals, and together they enclose the nine or ten stamens.