The ascending leaves of Osteospermum polygaloides are alternate, tending to overlap and decreasing in size up the stems. The leaves are sessile, sometimes with woolly tufts in the leaf axils. Leaf shape is ovate with entire margins and pointed tips. Leaf colour is blue-green to grey-green, its texture leathery and smooth, the veins sometimes visible. Leaves become about 1 cm long and 3 mm wide.
The branched or unbranched flower stalks at stem tips have a dense covering of glandular hairs, as do the small pointed bracts scattered along them. The flowerheads have yellow rays and discs, as well as hairy involucres with pointed bract tips. Flowering happens from midspring to early summer (Bean and Johns, 2005; Manning, 2007; iSpot; JSTOR; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010).