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