Cheiridopsis namaquensis, previously known as C. cigarettifera, forms small mats sometimes dying from the centre as in the photo. Leaf colour that is pale greyish-blue here may be green after rain. Tiny translucent spots are sometimes visible on fresh leaf surfaces. An opposing pair of similar succulent leaves grow from the gap between the previous or older pair. The leaf pair faces in a direction at right angles to the predecessor pair as seen from above. Consecutive pairs do not necessarily appear similar in shape or size.
What each leaf pair does for its successor, is to leave their shared outer skin as a protective covering for the newcomers to live through their coming hot, arid season. Remnants of these old papery leaf sheaths can still be seen here, but the spring flowering season is over. These leaves can be seen to have already started shrivelling into dry tissue, from which two fresh leaf tips will appear when the rain comes.
The earlier specific name of cigarettifera was conferred on account of the old leaf sheaths resembling cigarette holders. The flowers are pale yellow, a whorl of narrow petals around the stamen cluster, about 4 cm in diameter. The seed capsule that follows has about 10 locules (Smith, et al, 1998).