Like Sticky Cinquefoil (Drymocallis glandulosa), this is a common, leafy, spreading plant with white 5-petaled flowers. At first sight the two flowers might be confused, but the Horkelia has precisely 10 stamens which are white and flattened. Note that the inside of the sepals is not red-mottled, unlike those of var. californica. Its leaves are, like Sticky Cinquefoil, double-toothed but with 3–5 leaflets per side.