Grewia occidentalis is often a shrub, but in forests it tends to scramble or becomes a small tree, occasionally up to 6 m in height. The leaves are lanceolate or ovate, three-veined from the base and close to symmetric in shape. The leaves may be hairy and its shape varies: the tip tapers or is rounded, the base is lobed, tapering or rounded. The margins may be scalloped or finely toothed.
The mauve or pink flowers may appear solitary or in leaf-opposed clusters of up to three. The four-lobed fruit turns colour from green to orange-brown or purple from midsummer to autumn (Coates Palgrave, 2002).