The leaves of Gasteria pillansii var. pillansii, called Namaqua beestong in Afrikaans, are thick, flat and oblong with a rounded to broadly angled tip. The leaves are distichous, i.e. arranged in two opposite rows. There are tiny whitish teeth along the hard, white leaf margins.
The dark green to brown or reddish leaf surfaces are covered in irregularly spaced to banded white spotted areas. The beestong common name (cattle tongue) reflects the resemblance in shape.
This is a stemless plant readily producing stolons that form clumps from the small beginnings visible in the picture.
The species distribution is Namaqualand to southern Namibia in succulent Karoo vegetation. The plant needs some protection against the sun, mostly offered by taller shrubs around. Survivor plants in habitat are often the ones fortunate enough to germinate in a shady spot (www.plantzafrica.com).