This phacelia has distinctive leaves and flowers. Leaves are compound with narrow, lanceolate segments, the terminal segment being much longer than those below it. The flowers are generally more or less cylindric (occasionally more bell-shaped) in panicle-like inflorescences with strongly exserted stamens and style (about twice as long as the petals). The calyx lobes are important in identifying this species, narrowly ovate to ovate or obovate and more or less overlapping in fruit. Both stems and calyx lobes are often glandular. This species is easily confused with Kaweah River Phacelia (Phacelia egena) but this is a smaller plant (no more than 60 cm tall), has flowers which are more bell-shaped, calyx lobes which are linear to oblanceolate and not overlapping in fruit and is not glandular.