Curio ficoides is a branching shrub that grows to 1 m in height. The stems are a little succulent, the leaves more so. The long, narrow, blue-grey leaves are erect and somewhat flattened with acutely pointed tips. They become 10 cm long and 1,5 cm wide.
The creamy-white flowerheads bear only disc florets, no rays. Ficoides is derived from a resemblance to figs, referring to the flowerhead shape. Flowerheads become 7 mm in diameter. Flowering happens in autumn and winter.
The species is endemic to the eastern parts of the Little Karoo where it grows on rocky outcrops in veld where Protea nitida is often seen.
The plant was in the past called Senecio ficoides, Kleinia ficoides and Cacalia ficoides at different stages of it being recognised in botany. Such name changes reflect information growth, usually indicating increased approximation of factual accuracy (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; http://worldofsucculents.com; www.redlist.sanbi.org).