Previously known as Stapelia asterias, S. hirsuta var. hirsuta grows a compact clump of erect, four-angled, green stems with nearly flat, slightly concave velvety sides and widely spaced teeth on the angle ridges.
One to five flowers per inflorescence develop in succession from close to a stem base. The corolla of the flower consists of five tapering, sometimes also attenuating lobes that spread widely, resembling the starfish (asterias) for which it was earlier named. The lobe surfaces may be orange brown to purplish and hairy. There are sometimes cream or yellow transverse lines across the corolla lobes that don’t quite reach the margins.
In the centre of the flower is a two-tiered corona with tiny lobes.
In cultivation this plant varies much and often hybridises (White and Sloane, 1937; www.redlist.sanbi.org).