Conophytum herreanthus subsp. herreanthus forms a ground-level clump of short branches growing paired, succulent leaf bodies. The angular leaves point up, their inner surfaces triangular and facing the other member of the equal leaf pair in a V-shape. The keel at the back of the leaf gives each of the two outside leaf surface one bulging, curved side, deviating from perfect triangles.
The three leaf planes meet at the top in a sharp point. Leaf surfaces are smooth and hairless, pale grey in colour. Some leaf tips and keels in picture are slightly rosy. There are sparsely scattered, faint dark spots along the grey surfaces. These are the “deeply sunken leaf stomata” mentioned in the literature.
Old as well as recent flower remains are present; also the green beginnings of brand-new leaf pairs emerging from the slits between old leaves. Flowers of the other (rare) subspecies of C. herreanthus, viz. subsp. rex, remain open day and night; maybe subsp. herreanthus does the same.
Subsp. rex has pale lilac to pink flowers with white near the centre. The spent subsp. herreanthus flowers seen here only divulge yellow anther colouring. No conophytums of the Herreanthus subgroup have yellow petals (Williamson, 2010; Hartmann, 2002, The Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants; www.succulents.co.za; www.redlist.sanbi.org).