Nelia schlechteri is a dwarf leaf succulent branching into a compact clump of up to 9 cm in diameter.
The stubby blue-green, grey-green or yellow-green leaves grow opposite, shaped between triangular and rounded in cross-section. The leaf-tips are expanded, their surfaces often bulging. The keels are distinct and the margins finely serrated. Leaf surfaces are smooth, not dotted and the leaves become 3 cm long.
The genus consists of only two species, earlier a few more. The rest are now all sunken into the other species, N. pillansii. These plants are sometimes called the soap-leaved mesembs.
N. schlechteri is range-restricted, occurring on stony, quartzite slopes of some central Richtersveld mountains and to the west on the Sandveld coast. The plant is rare but its population is deemed stable early in the twenty first century (Williamson, 2010; Smith, et al, 1998; Herre, 1971; iNaturalist; http://redlist.sanbi.org).