The main identifying features of pseudognaphalium stramineum
are the grey-green color of the leaves (the same on both sides), the clasping leaf bases, the dense flower clusters and the yellow color of the disc florets. Plants are most commonly found in coastal areas of the three Pacific states, but also occur inland, up to 8,000 feet elevation. Leaves and stems are densely covered by soft, white, non-glandular tomentose hairs. Leaves are generally flat, though the edges may be curled slightly downwards.
The spherical flowerheads cluster tightly together, borne at the tip of the stems and at the upper leaf nodes. The involucre is ringed by several rows of whitish (becoming yellow then brown as they mature) phyllaries, oblong or ovate in shape. Flowerheads are disciform, containing both disc florets (numbering 160 to 200) around the edge and slightly larger pistillate florets (18 to 28) in the center.