Diospyros lycioides subsp. lycioides occurs widely in the summer rainfall area of South Africa and neighbouring countries. This subspecies of the highly diversified Diospyros lycioides plant has medium sized leaves (4 cm by 1,5 cm). The leaves are without hair or just slightly velvety. The leaf midrib is not raised on the lower surface.
All forms of this highly variable plant are held in high regard by the many that consume the fruit, be they people, baboons, other mammals, birds or insects. The star apple name suggests a link to another valued fruit. The star addition relates to the calyx lobes persisting at the back of the fruit (Coates Palgrave, 2002).