Adenia kirkii is a herbaceous climber forming a tangle of twisted, often annual stems, to 3 m long, raying out every which way from an almost globular caudex up to 30 cm across. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Pale yellow flowers open on the tendrils in the spring and summer. Leaves of juvenile specimens are sometimes variegated and have a distinct, up to 3 mm deep peltate base. Adenia kirkii is characterized by a long, slender flower stipe (a stalk that elevates the male and female reproductive parts it supports beyond the corolla).