Conophytum marginatum subsp. marginatum branches to form a dense clump of round leaf-tops flat on the ground. The white skin of last year’s leaves are covering each emerging leaf pair, serving as protection against the climatic extremes common to the plant’s habitat. These papery coverings will be pushed aside as winter rain make the new leaves bulge. Then they will flourish boldly until summer dries them out to repeat the process by becoming parenting protection for their successors, next year’s leaves. While the robust pale grey-green lumps that are the leaves enjoy full development in winter, they look impressive with their dark green spots scattered along the exposed surfaces.
This plant was seen during April in Namaqualand where the leaves are yet to swell out. The plant is endemic to this area and not threatened early in the 21st century (Smith, et al, 1998).