Villarsia capensis, the Cape bogbean, is a soft perennial with tufts of basal leaves. The green, ovate to oblong leaves grow on long, sturdy stalks that will stretch sufficiently when needed in fresh water to hold their blades above water. Recorded plant heights vary accordingly, ranging between 5 cm and 1 m. Leaf margins are usually smooth, sometimes dentate (toothed) and tending to be irregularly shaped.
The distribution is the Western Cape from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape as far east as Humansdorp. The habitat, easily guessed from the bogbean common name, is swampy land and open water. The plant is not threatened in habitat early in the twenty first century (Bean and Johns, 2005; iSpot; JSTOR; www.redlist.sanbi.org).