Helichrysum milfordiae is a dwarf shrublet, only about 7 cm tall. It forms a mat by spreading via stolons and growing multiple dense leaf rosettes at ground level. The mat seldom reaches 30 cm in diameter. Old stems become woody and gnarled, young ones are soft and slender. The leaves in the stem tip rosettes are obovate; those along the stems are lanceolate. The leaves are bluish grey, densely covered in silky hairs.
The flowerheads grow solitary on this specimen, sitting tightly upon the stem tops inside leaf rosettes. Several rows of pointed, papery bracts with crimson, purplish or brown tips, only on their outer surfaces, surround the yellow discs. Once the flowerhead opens wide, it shows only white colouring on the inside bract surfaces around the yellow flower centre, comprising tiny disc florets.
The achene, the fruit that follows the flower, is smooth, but attached to a pappus of barbed bristles (www.keys.lucidcentral.org).