Euclea crispa is a single-stemmed small tree with many smaller branches forming a dense crown reaching a height of 2–6 metres and a spread of 2–4 metres.
The bark varies from grey and smooth, when young, to dark brown and rougher with age; it is often found covered in lichen. The young growth usually has rusty brown glands which disappear with age.
The leaves are small; blue to grey and variable in shape. They are smooth and leathery to the touch. Whitish green to yellow bell-shaped flowers are produced from spring to summer – October to February; they attract bees with their sweet scent. The male and female flowers are on separate trees. A single-seeded fruit ripens from reddish brown to black. They are palatable to humans and eaten by birds and mammals.