The Bottle tree, Pachypodium lealii also know as Pachypodium giganteum, is one of the largest bottle-shaped species in the entire genus. It is a very eye-catching shrub or tall tree-like, succulent (pachycaul) 3 to 6(-8) metres in height with a broad bulbous base from which multiple trunks sprouts.
The trunk and branches are metallic grey or brownish, thick and succulent. It strongly resemble cereiform cacti, with highly succulent, cylindrical stems armed with tubercles, each having sharp spines.
Like other pachypodiums, this succulent stem of the plant acts as a water store that enables it to tolerate the hot, dry environments in which it grows.
At flowering time, the leaves drop off, and long, pointed buds at the ends of the leafless branches open into attractive, sweet-smelling, white flowers, flushed with purple on the undersides.