Mystroxylon aethiopicum is quite a compact shrub or small tree. The young branches are covered with short hairs that give them a grey colour. The leaves are leathery, glossy dark green underneath and paler above. The bark is black to dark brown and is rough. The flowers are small and yellowish green . The berries turn bright red as they ripen. They are edible and sweet tasting.
Mystroxylon aethiopicum can withstand frost and, although slow-growing, is a good garden tree.