Annual or short lived perennial forb or shrub to 50cm tall or prostrate. Leaves 0.5-1.5cm long, usually less than 3mm wide, flattened cylindrical, hairy. Flowers small (less than 3mm across), in white woolly heads of 8-16 flowers at the bases of the leaves. Flower heads and fruiting bodies spherical, woolly; with many spines.
Description and photo (as Bassia paradoxa var. paradoxa) (page 255) and line drawing of burr (Fig. 46-24 page 253) in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales