Avonia albissima is a very small tufted plant, stems partly buried in the sandy soil of its habitat. The many small cylindrical stems are covered in tiny leaves positioned in spiral pattern and completely covered under the scale-like stipules
A. albissima is one of nine species in the Avonia genus that forms part of the Portulacaceae or purslane family. The tiny leaves of Avonia plants in this parched land are typically covered by overlapping scale-like or papery stipules; life saving protection against direct sun and moisture loss.
Avonia stems are interesting in growing flower buds while lying prostrate, pulling themselves into erect positions when the flowers open. Energy is thus saved, available for use when pollination becomes the priority. These stems will remain erect until seeds have been released (Williamson, 2010).