Burchellia bubalina has simple, opposite, ovate leaves that are sometimes hairy. The blade is shiny and leathery with indented veins that produce a quilted appearance. The leaf margins are entire, wavy and rolled under. The grey bark becomes rough with age.
The flowers are orange as on this Kirstenbosch tree or scarlet, growing in dense heads of up to eight at stem tips. The corolla is urn-shaped and tubular with five short, pointed lobes. The anthers grow from the inside wall of the corolla without filaments.
The fruit is also urn-shaped. It is leathery and green with touches of red, turning brown as it ripens. The five horn-like calyx lobes of the flower persist on the developing fruit that remains on the plant for months (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).