The ericoid leaves of Phylica ericoides are pale creamy yellow or orange on the upper stems. Hairs are present along the midrib on the rough upper surface of the leaf, as well as on the lower surface that is nearly invisible from the leaf margins curving inwards to each other. Stipules are absent from the leaf base, typical of the genus.
The flowers of P. ericoides are densely clustered in small flowerheads or capitula. At the base of the flowerheads the small yellow bracts are in evidence in the picture. These bracts may also be brown and scale-like.
Some fleshy green fruits have already formed among the withering flowers. They are globose and lobed, green, just beginning to turn brownish purple as they will be when ripe. The moment will come for the explosive opening burst of each seed capsule. The smooth seeds will fly out to face the challenges of a possible new life.
The differences among individual plants are sufficient for the recognition of five variations within the species, relating to capitulum size, distribution and the features of those tiny individual blooms within the capitula (www.plantzafrica.com).