Dalmation toadflax grows up to four feet tall on a stout, erect, branching stem. It can easily be mistaken for a snapdragon with its bright yellow flowers that grow in a head at the end of the main stem. The flowers are about an inch long, with two lips and a pronounced opposing spur. The bottom lip is raised and covered with orange hairs.

Thompson’s paintbrush is not a colorful plant, unlike other paintbrushes. The yellow to green “flowers” are actually modified leaves hiding the inconspicuous tubular flowers. The petals fuse into a narrow, elongate tube. The stems are in clusters and usually grow four to sixteen inches tall. Short white hairs cover the stems and leaves.