Dicoma anomala is a highly variable plant characterised by its stiff, sharp-pointed bracts, large flower heads and mauve-white florets surrounded by many white bristles. It sprouts annually from an underground tuber. Few to many prostrate or decumbent annual stems radiate from a woody rootstock. Stems are thinly covered with hairs.The leaves are lanceolate with serrated, spiky edges. It is dark green on the upper side and the lower side lighter and velvety. Flower heads are terminal, solitary or in small groups.
Interplant Dicoma anomala with small grasses such as Sporobolus stapfianus.