Leaves of potentilla effusa
are grey-green in color, divided into 7 to 9 leaflets which have large, rounded lobes along the edge and a light covering of silky hairs. Stems and sepals are also hairy. The green sepals are pointed, quite wide at the base, and longer than the yellow petals, which do not overlap. Petals are obovate to cuneate (wedge-shaped) in shape, with a little notch at the tip. Plants form low clumps, up to 2 feet tall and several feet wide, with closely-spaced leaves and flowers borne in small groups at the end of the branched stems.