The oblong leaves of Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca are hairless and stalkless, deeply lobed with long, sharp spines at the lobe tips. The dark green of the blades is dominated by pale blue-grey along the veins that becomes whitish on the big veins, especially upon the leaf midribs. The plant exudes a distinctive odour when crushed.
The ovoid capsules are green with soft spines in rows to somewhat scattered. The dark remains of the stigma are visible at the fruit tips. The capsule splits open at its tip when dry, spilling enough seed for new plants to re-establish their weedy presence next year again (Van Wyk and Malan, 1997; iSpot).