Lower leaves of mentzelia albicaulis
, especially those around the base, have short stalks and are lined by well-separated, rounded, alternate lobes, while those higher up the stem are stemless, and either entire or have a few, more irregularly arranged lobes. All leaves have a covering of rough hairs, and a slightly knobbly surface. The stems are white to light brown in color, growing upwards or sideways.
Flowers are arranged in small clusters at the top of the stem branches, and are subtended by lance-shaped bracts which may have a few small teeth or lobes. Each flower is formed of a relatively long, green, tubular calyx, also hairy, with five narrow sepals at the top, radiating outwards, their tips visible from above, in between the five broad, yellow, overlapping petals. The calyx tube lengthens as the flower matures. The petals are often red to orange at the base, while the flower center is greenish; from here a style and group of stamens rise to a height of about 1/8 of an inch. Petals have a tiny projection at the tip.