Oncoba spinosa is a spiny shrub or small tree with pretty white flowers and is known for the snuff boxes that can be made from its hard-shelled fruit. The bark of this plant is mottled grey and rather smooth. The young branches are conspicuously speckled with lenticels. The spines are straight and up to 50 mm in length. It bears large (90 mm wide) showy, sweet-scented, white flowers with masses of yellow, overlapping stamens in the centre .