Unlike Pine Mistletoe (Arceuthobium littorum), this is only partially parasitic, both deriving water and nutrients from its host plant and also able to photosynthesize through its greenish leaves. Leaves are elliptic to roundish, 15–30 mm long. Its flowers are in short cylindrical yellow spikes. Despite its common name, this is found on a variety of plants as well as oaks including California Bay Laurel (Umbelllaria californica), Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum)and manzanitas (Arctostaphylos sp.).