The herb has a prostrate to ascending habit and typically grows to a height of 0.05 to 0.3 metres (0.2 to 1.0 ft). It flowers between September and January producing pink flowers. It has a distribution from the Mid West, Wheatbelt, Peel and South West regions where it grows in sandy or gravelly soils.
The species was first described by the botanist Robert Brown in 1810 as Trichinium macrocephalum in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae, it was renamed by John Lindley in 1839 to Trichinium manglesii. Reclassified by Ferdinand von Mueller to Ptilotus manglesii in 1868 in the work Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae.
- "Ptilotus manglesii". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
- "Noongar names for plants". kippleonline.net. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- "Ptilotus manglesii (Lindl.) F.Muell". Atlas of Living Australia. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 15 December 2016.