Pinto peanut is a long-lived, creeping plant that eventually forms a dense mat of vegetation on the soil surface. It is usually less than 20 cm tall, and its stems regularly produce roots at their joints. These stems are hairy and bear alternately arranged leaves that have four leaflets. A pair of large leafy bracts (up to 30 mm long) is also present at the base of each leaf. The leaflets (up to 4.5 cm long and 3.5 cm wide) are quite broad with entire margins and rounded tips. They have darker green and hairless upper surfaces, while their undersides are paler and slightly hairy. The bright yellow pea-shaped flowers (12-17 mm across) are usually borne on slender, upright, stalks. After flowering, the flower stalks elongate and grow down into the soil, penetrating the soil up to a depth of about 7 cm. The small fruit pods (10-14 mm long and 6-8 mm wide) then develop underground. These fruit have patterned surfaces and usually contain a single light brown seed, though they may occasionally have two seeds (8-11 mm long and 4-6 mm wide)
Pinto peanut is a potential weed of parks, lawns, sports fields, footpaths, roadsides and disturbed sites in tropical and sub-tropical areas.