Monsonia crassicaulis is an erect, branched shrublet with thick, fleshy and spiny stems. Several of the Monsonia species are called Bushman’s candle because of the translucent, flammable wax coating covering the stems. This wax makes them burn easily even when the stems are still live. Mature stems become attractively golden brown in colour over time and may receive protection against the elements from the wax coating.
The grey-green, hairy leaves are narrowly or broadly obovate with crenated edges.
The flowers appear in spring on long stalks from the leaf axils. They are five-petalled, sulphury pale yellow to almost white with fifteen uneven, creamy anthers around the branched stigma (www.plantzafrica.com; www.bidorbuy.co.za).