Shrub or small tree. The leaves are lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, usually about 4 times as long as wide, glabrous or with sparse hairs; petiole short, up to 2 cm; net-veining conspicuous; margin entire or finely toothed. Capitula forming clusters up to 15 cm, creamy white, occasionally tinged with mauve; sweetly scented, particularly at night. The small fruits have both small glands and hairs as well as a pappus of bristly hairs.
Very similar to Vernonia colorata. The only reliable way to separate these two species is to examine the achenes (this also works with the ovaries when the plants are in flower) with a lens. If papillae only are present on the body of the achene, it is V. colorata; if both papillae and hairs are present, then it is V. amygdalina. V. colorata appears to be a plant of generally drier areas at lower altitudes whereas V. amygdalina occurs in higher rainfall areas at higher altitudes.