Despite its relatively small geographical range, physaria arizonica
is quite variable in appearance. The greenish-grey stems, leaves and sepals are covered by short, rough hairs (trichomes), and each hair is branched, usually into 6 or 8. The stems also branch, from the woody base of the plant, and are mostly erect, but only a few inches tall. Leaves are narrow and have pointed tips. Those at the base are slightly wider towards the apex and are short (around one inch long), while stem leaves are essentially linear, but longer, up to 2 inches. Stem leaves tend to bend downwards later in the season.
The stems bear dense, elongated clusters of small yellow flowers in spring and early summer. The four sepals are yellowish green in color, and ovate in outline. Two have a slightly different shape than the other two. Petals are spreading, non-overlapping, and often curled backwards.