The rounded to slightly pointed leaves of Athanasia pubescens taper to their bases without having distinct petioles. The dark green surfaces are white-spotted. The spots are the mealy, short hairs typical on Athanasia leaves.
The clusters of long-stalked buds will culminate in flat-topped corymbs when the involucral bracts part and the small, yellow disc florets open. Each globular bud is covered in several rows of white-velvety, overlapping bracts, blunt-tipped and clasping the developing florets inside. The second, brown inflorescence that snuck into view is done flowering, its withered florets already fruiting.
This plant was photographed on the wall of a farm dam in the Biedouw Valley during September (Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; iNaturalist).