Xylotheca kraussiana is a shrub of 50 cm or a small tree around 2 m in height. It used to be called Oncoba kraussiana. The only Xylotheca in South Africa, it resembles O. kraussiana. The bark is pale grey and smooth.
The elliptic leaves are darker green on top than on the lower surfaces, hairy on both. The midrib and lateral veins are yellow and conspicuous, curving inwards near the margin to form an inner edge on the blade.
The usually solitary, somewhat rose-like flowers have yellow masses of stamens in a ring around the centre. The flower may measure 7 cm in diameter. Xylos means woody and theca means capsule, referring to the woody capsule of the fruit that follows the impressive flower pictured here.
The pulp grown around the seeds is edible, popular with birds and children (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).