Mimetes hottentoticus is a single-stemmed, erect plant that grows to 3 m. The leaves are elliptic, silvery and and silky. Leaf-ends are toothed, a characteristic shared with some other Mimetes species as well as with several Leucospermum species. The Mimetes part of the name comes from a Greek word meaning to imitate, probably referring to the leaves resembling or imitating other plants in this way.
The flowers are positioned among the leaves at the ends of branches. These leaves around the flowers are adapted, have a silvery pink colour and a modified oblong shape. The styles are the spectacular feature of the flowers: They are bright red with some white just below the black anthers.
The plant in the photo, grown in the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden south of the Kogelberg, has so far overcome the difficulties of plants of the species in cultivation (www.plantzafrica.com).