The hebenstretias belong to the Scrophulariaceae or snapdragon family and are sometimes called slugworts or slakblomme (snail flowers) in Afrikaans. They are annual or perennial herbs or undershrubs. The leaves are alternat, some have lower leaves that are opposite. Most plant parts of many hebenstretias are hairy.
The flowers often have slender tubes and conspicuous petal lobes, occurring on erect flower spikes. There are four stamens. The style is shorter than the corolla tube, but exserted through a slit in its side.
Several hebenstretias are common in the southern African summer rainfall area, while Hebenstretia robusta , H. cordata, H. dentata and H. repens are examples of plants indigenous to the Western Cape. All twenty five species of this genus occur in southern Africa (Manning, 2007; Leistner, (Ed.), 2000).