Pterodiscus aurantiacus is a perennial succulent herb, up to 30 cm high, that grows from a large underground beet-like caudex. Its elongated, slightly succulent leaves are covered with mucilaginous hairs. Solitary flowers with orange-red to vermilion corollas are borne in the leaf axils. The specific name refers to the flower colour. The indehiscent fruit is four-winged and often has a violet hue.