Haworthia emelyae is a stemless perennial dwarf plant with a rosette of succulent leaves. Apart from the inflorescence, only the leaf tops of the rosette are sometimes exposed above ground. This leaf rosette becomes 10 cm wide. Leaf tops are roughly triangular, with shiny surfaces covered in almost parallel white lines that converge slightly towards the leaf tips.
The specimen in the photo has smooth leaf margins while the plant sometimes has tiny leaf margin teeth. A mature plant has about 20 leaves. The outer ones present flat, horizontal surfaces, while the smaller, younger ones near the centre are semi-erect, reddish in full sun or winter. Leaf tips look blunt or rounded in the picture, but they may be distinctly pointed, even turning upwards slightly.
The annual inflorescence that arrives in spring consists of an erect raceme about 28 cm tall. Spaced papery or membranous bracts sheathing the flower stem (peduncle) are noticeable below the flowers and on the individual flower pedicels. The flowers are almost white with brown keels on the corolla segments.
The plant is endemic to the Little Karoo (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Scott, 1985).