The leaves of Pelargonium gibbosum are divided and pointy edged, variable in shape. They are blue-grey with a fine bloom and leathery. The leaves are deciduous, growing in winter, but dry out and usually drop off before the greenish yellow or pale yellow flowers appear in summer. The stems may reach 4 cm in diameter and sprawl, as on the young plant in the picture, or scramble up into coastal scrub to about 80 cm where such vegetation is available.
The swollen appearance of the stem nodes, more conspicuous when the leaves are gone, earned the plant its common names of gouty pelargonium or arthritic pelargonium. The flowers appear in clusters of 3 to 14. They are scented at night, suggesting nocturnal pollination (Manning, 2007; Manning and Goldblatt, 1997).