Dorstenia gypsophila is a remarkable monoecious caudiciform plant up to 1.20 m high, with a grotesquely swollen, trunk that gives rise to several irregularly arranged branches much thinner than the stem, each of which carries a sparse crown of simple leaves. Each plant has a unique shape with a withered looking appearance. D. gypsophila flowers are light brown and have luxuriant appendages. D. gypsophila is a vicariant form of the Socotran Dorstenia gigas, they are the two giants in the genus and the most prized species in cultivation. Both have persistent succulent branches and a thickened main trunk.