Lessertia thodei is one of 56 southern African species of this African genus comprising 59 species in all. The genus forms part of the Fabaceae or legume family. The plants are herbs or shrubs, several of them having the common name of balloon pea, derived from the shape of the swollen pods some of them bear.
A profusion of such pale green pods are hanging from the branches of the plant in picture, below some still open flowers as they start flowering from the bottom up. Lessertia thodei branches into a multitude of stems. The leaves are pinnately compound with many pale green, hairy leaflets. The leaflets are elliptic, folded along their midribs. There are stipules at the base of every leaf.
This plant has a stable population early in the twenty first century in its distribution area in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, as well as in Lesotho. The habitat is grassland at medium to high elevations. This specimen was seen in the Mkhomazi Wilderness Area during January (iSpot; JSTOR; www.redlist.sanbi.org).