Burchellia bubalina has simple, opposite, ovate and sometimes hairy leaves. The leaf surface is shiny and leathery with indented veins that give it a quilted appearance. The leaf margins are entire, wavy and rolled under. The grey bark becomes rough as it ages.
The flowers are orange or scarlet, growing in dense heads of up to eight at stem tips. The corolla is urn-shaped and tubular with five short, pointed lobes. The anthers grow from the inside wall of the corolla without filaments. The fruit is also urn-shaped like the flower. It is leathery and green with touches of red, later brown in colour. The five horn-like calyx lobes of each flower persist on the developing fruit in their dense cluster that remains on the plant for months (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).