gathosma capensis is an evergreen shrub, 300-900 mm high. Grown among taller vegetation, it can reach a height of 1.5 m. It forms a single stem at the base and grows into a small, rounded bush. The branchlets are glabrous (hairless) or pubescent (covered with fine hairs). The older stems are woody, whereas the younger stems are softer and covered with small, aromatic leaves. The green leaves are linear, 1.5-7.0 mm long, obtuse or rounded at the apex (leaf tip) and alternately arranged on the branches. The inflorescence is borne at the tips of branches or on the lower axillary, the angle between the leaf and the branch. Flowers are crowded in flat-topped clusters or rounded heads, are 5-petalled and 3-5 mm long, with noticeable stamens. Petals have a distinct claw and flower stalks are 5-10 mm long. Flowers are present throughout the year with a peak in July to November. The fruit capsule consists of 2 or 3 chambers; each chamber contains one black seed. The seed ripens in November to December.