Leaves of plagiobothrys tenellus
grow mostly at the base of the plant, in a rosette; they are relatively broad, and lined with long hairs. Leaf surfaces are pitted. Stem leaves are few in number, narrower, and alternately arranged. Stems are quite densely covered with long, spreading white hairs. Plants branch from the base.
Small clusters of flowers are produced in the spring, at the tips of the branches; flowers have a small, five-lobed white corolla, usually pale yellow at the center. The five green calyx lobes, similarly hairy, are fused towards the base. The inflorescence is initially coiled, becoming elongate at maturity. Nutlets are roughly cross-shaped, with ridges along the margins.