Lachenalia obscura is a bulbous perennial of the Little Karoo, the Karoo and Namaqualand. It rarely reaches heights above 20 cm. The plant grows on stony flats in loamy, sandy or clayey soil where it receives winter rain. There is a transparent membrane above the bulb and below the soil surface around the leaves and stem of lachenalias.
The one or two leaves that L. obscura annually grows are obliquely angled outwards from the flower stem, clasping the stem. The specimen in picture has red-purple colouring near the leaf base, brighter than the flower itself; this colouring may sometimes cover the lower leaf surface. Scattered dull purple blotches of irregular shape can be seen on the upper leaf surface. The leaf shape is oblong, tapering to the tip.
The sessile or almost stalkless flowers on the spike are dull-green, yellow-green or sometimes pink, cream in parts; on this specimen dull green with grey or bluish markings. The funnel-shaped corolla may sometimes have magenta tips; quite a few colours involved in a rather dull looking inflorescence. The stamens are initially concealed within the corolla (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; www.pacificbulbsociety.org).