Cheiridopsis derenbergiana is a much branched, spreading dwarf perennial of the Aizoaceae family that bears lemon-yellow flowers. The leaves grow in pairs that are almost equal in shape. They are stout, smooth keeled, shaped as small triangular columns and have velvety smooth surfaces. The plants grow in nature in an arid habitat on rocky slopes in Namaqualand. It was earlier known as Cheiridopsis citrina.
In some Cheiridopsis species (there are about 33 of them and the genus is variable), the leaf pairs are similar, in others they are of unequal length. The genus name of Cheiridopsis is derived from the Greek words cheiris (sheath) and opsis (resembling). Every new pair of leaves emerges from a sheath formed out of the older pair that dries during the resting season into a papery sheath enveloping the emergent pair. This provides protection for the new leaves during the resting period. Subsequent pairs do not always look very similar as the shapes or degree of fusion may differ (Smith et al, 1998).