Spiny shrub, to 4 m, sometimes prostrate. Leaves borne in fascicles on spiny side branches; lamina 2-5 cm × 4-7 mm, narrowly oblong to narrowly oblanceolate, dark green and becoming glabrous
above, greyish-tomentose beneath; apex obtuse, mucronulate;
margin rolled under, entire or obscurely toothed towards apex.
Flowers c.8 mm across, white, in dense tomentose corymbs. Fruit 6-8 mm in diameter, subspherical, orange to brick-red.
It was introduced as a garden ornamental not for the flowers, which are small, but for the masses of bright orange berries. In Zimbabwe it is known as an occasional escape into the wild and is not a problem species (yet) but in the South African highveld it is known as an aggressive invader into grassland, hillsides and erosion channels.