Purshia stansburiana is a shrub of dry hillsides and roadsides at middle elevation. Large stands may burst into flower all at one time. The new year's branches are reddish. The leaveas are fascicled, white glandular dotted and three lobed toward the apex. The fruit bears a long plumose tail. Purshia stansburiana bears a resemblance to Fallugia paradoxa, but Purshia stansburiana usually has a single trunk while Fallugia paradoxa is branched from the base. The plumes also look considerably different when in fruit.