Oscularia vernicolor is a low-growing subshrub producing spreading branches. Visible stem parts are purplish red.
The flowers grow solitary or in groups of up to three. There are five sepals. The short, linear petals are free. Stamens and staminodes are erect in a central cone. Nectar glands are positioned in the flower base, as well as several stigmas. The fruits have at least four locules, the seeds ovoid and brown.
The species distribution is in the Western Cape. Most oscularias grow in rocky sandstone places in sour soils, receiving winter rain. It is unknown how this plant fares in survival terms in nature, as it is taxonomically problematic and hard to assess before its identity issues are cleared up (Smith, et al, 1998; Herre, 1971; http://redlist.sanbi.org).