Erect shrub, 0.5-2 m, prickly. Young stems terete, densely stellate-pubescent and prickly or unarmed, with porrect, sessile or variously stalked trichomes, the stalks to 0.1 mm long, the rays ca. 8, 0.2-0.4 mm long, the midpoints 0.7-1 mm long, the prickles 2-6 mm long, 0.2-0.8 mm wide at base, straight, acicular, perpendicular to the stem, pale yellow, glabrous, spaced 3-20 mm apart; bark of older stems glabrescent in patches, red-brown or gray.
Sympodial units difoliate, not geminate.
Leaves simple, the blades 5-7.5 cm long, 2.5-4 cm wide, ca. 2 times longer than wide, obovate to elliptic, chartaceous, drying concolorous to discolorous, red-green, sometimes yellow-green; adaxial surface glabrescent, the trichomes with midpoints 0.5-1.5 mm long; abaxial surface densely stellate-pubescent, with porrect, sessile or stalked trichomes, the stalks to 0.1 mm long, the rays 6-8, 0.2-0.3 mm long, the midpoints 0.7-1 mm long, with minute simple hairs, with 0-20 prickles on both surfaces; the primary veins 4-6 pairs, the tertiary venation visible on both surfaces; base cuneate; margins lobed, the lobes 3-4 on each side, to 1 cm long, extending to 1/2(-2/3) of the distance to the midvein, rounded to oblong, apically rounded to obtuse; apex obtuse to acute; petiole 0.7-2 cm long, 1/4-1/3 of the leaf blade length, densely stellate-pubescent, with 0-3 prickles.
Inflorescences apparently lateral, 2-3 cm long, not branched or branched once, with 2-4 flowers, 1-3 flowers open at any one time, densely stellate-pubescent, unarmed; peduncle 0-3 mm long; pedicels 0.4-0.8 cm long, erect, articulated at the base, densely stellate-pubescent, with 0-1 prickles; pedicel scars spaced 2-9 mm apart.
Flowers 5-merous, usually all perfect, occasionally with a few short-styled staminate flowers at the inflorescence apex. Calyx 4-6 mm long, densely stellate-pubescent, with 0-10 prickles, the lobes 2-3 mm long, oblong, apically obtuse. Corolla ca. 1.7 cm in diameter, white, stellate, lobed for ca. 4/5 of the way to the base, the lobes 7-9 mm long, ca. 2 mm wide, narrow-ovate to narrow-deltate or oblong, spreading, densely stellate-pubescent abaxially, the trichomes porrect, subsessile, the rays ca. 8, 0.15-0.3 mm long, the midpoints 0.7-1(-2) mm long. Stamens equal, with the filament tube ca. 0.5 mm long, the free portion of the filaments 0.8-1 mm long; anthers 5-6 mm long, connivent, tapering, poricidal at the tips. Ovary glabrous; style ca. 0.9 cm long in long-styled flowers, slender, gently curved, glabrous.
Fruit a spherical berry, 2-4 per infructescence, 1-1.1 cm in diameter, the pericarp smooth, red at maturity, glabrous; fruiting pedicels 1.5-2.4 cm long, 0.3-0.6 mm in diameter at base, woody, pendulous, with 0(-2) prickles; fruiting calyx lobes elongating to 8-10 mm long, 2/3-3/4 the length of the mature fruit, foliaceous with 0-10 prickles.
Seeds ca. 15-25 per berry, 2.7-3 mm long, 2.2-2.3 mm wide, flattened-reniform, dull yellow to orange-brown, the surface smooth or minutely reticulate with raised outlines of cells or small pits.
Coastal Tanzania and northern Mozambique; growing in shrubland and disturbed areas; 0-300 m elevation..