Dais cotinifolia is a small tree growing only to 6 metres, with a lovely rounded, leafy crown. It can be single - or multi-stemmed, with the brown stems covered in small speckles of whitish cork. The smooth, simple leaves are bright green, sometimes with a slight bluish tinge on the upper side. The veins of the leaves are a translucent yellow colour, forming very clear patterns as they run through the leaves. The leaves are usually scattered up the branches or crowded at the ends of the branches. In very cold areas the trees are deciduous, but in warmer climates like Cape Town they only lose their leaves for a short time at the end of winter.