Like other species in this genus, new growth of oreocarya fulvocanescens
occurs above the dried stems and leaves from the previous year. Plants can grow up to ten inches tall, but usually are rather lower, just a few inches, forming spreading clumps. The greyish-green leaves have a covering of stiff, bristly hairs, most evident on the margins and undersurfaces. Stems are similar, and colored yellowish green.
The inflorescence is a small cluster at the top of each stem. Calyx lobes are narrow, quite long, dark green and bristly. The corolla tube is greenish yellow, extending well above the calyx, and opening to five white, rounded petals. The appendages at the base of the petals are yellow, and noticeably protruding; the yellow color extends to the surrounding petal bases.