The reddish stems of xylorhiza venusta
branch a few times, and bear alternate leaves at closely-spaced intervals, from the base most of the way to the tip; they grow most densely along the lower half. Leaves and stems may be hairless but usually have a covering of short, dense, soft hairs. Leaves have entire margins, and this is one factor that differentiates the species from white-flowered specimens of the similar xylorhiza tortifolia
, which inhabits the same areas.
Flowerheads of xylorhiza venusta are up to one inch in diameter; they have between 14 and 34 white or very pale pink ray florets around a center of several dozen yellow disc florets, greenish when immature. The green phyllaries are broad at the base, narrowing above the midpoint to a tapering, purplish tip. Phyllaries are recurved above the middle. Plants are endemic to the Colorado Plateau.