Sparrmannia africana leaves are large, simple and alternate. They are broadly ovate, bright green with indented veins on the upper surface, prominent below. The apex is broadly tapering and the base deeply lobed with toothed margins. The many branched stems are greenish grey to light brown.
The flowers are white, cup-shaped with central masses of stamens, including yellow sterile stamens. The four petals are broadly obovate, the four sepals are also white and narrowly lanceolate. Blooming happens in spring and summer. The fruits are spherical, dehiscent capsules covered in long spiny bristles, 2 cm in diameter (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.shootgardening.co.uk).