Metalasia densa is a branched, woody shrub that commonly reaches heights around 2,5 m, rarely 4 m. It sometimes sprouts after fire.
The plant grows narrow to ovate leaves, slightly twisted sideways. Axillary clusters of young leaves typically appear above each longer, mature or primary leaf. Leaves are often flexed downwards. Leaf dimensions are 1,5 cm by 3 mm. Leaf margins are rolled upwards or incurved, the upper surface white-woolly.
The species distribution lies in a broad coastal strip from Namaqualand in the Northern Cape along the south coast and Little Karoo of the Western Cape, across the Eastern Cape and inland to the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho. It is also found across the Vaal River in Mpumalanga and as far as Limpopo around the Soutpansberg, but not in the arid northwest and centre of the country.
The habitat includes fynbos, coastal and other scrubland in sandy or loam soils on flats and slopes. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
All 52 species of Metalasia are found in the fynbos (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Manning, 2007; iSpot; www.redlist.sanbi.org).