Podalyria calyptrata (SA Tree List No. 225) is a small branched tree or shrub of about 2 m, rarely up to 5 m. In Afrikaans it is known as the waterkeurtjie (little water virgilia).
The leaves are simple and alternate with entire margins. The leaf shape is obovate-elliptic or obovate. Leaves are sparsely hairy on the upper surfaces, but densely covered in silky hairs below.
The flowers are showy, mauve to pink in colour with white at the base and sweet scented. The flower shape is similar to that of the pea flower. Flowers grow in leaf axils and may be solitary or occurring in clusters.
The fruit pod may be up to 4 cm in length. The pods are hard, hairy and appear inflated. Some pods have already formed next to the flowers in picture. The seeds have fleshy aril attachments (Coates Palgrave, 2002).