Plants perennial herbs; stem succulent, up to 1.5 cm thick and 15 cm tall, with pronounced leaf-, stipule-, and inflorescence-scars, unbranched or with serveral branches nearly as thick as the main stem. Leaves alternate, crowded at the ends of the stems and branches; stipules 1-2 mm long, subulate from a broad base, mostly persistent; petioles 1-3.6 cm long, puberulous; blades lanceolate to ovate, obovate, or elliptic, base cuneate to rounded, margins entire, crenulate, crisped, or deticulate, tip obtuse or acuminate, lower surface puberulous, upper surface scabridulous. Peduncles 1-3 cm long; receptacles 1-3 together in the leaf axils, circular in outline, 0.6-1.5 cm in diameter (excluding the appendages); appendages 7-10, linear, up to 1.5 cm long. Staminate flowers numerous; tepals 2; stamens 2; rudimentary ovary inconspicuous. Pistillate flowers numerous, scattered on the upper surface of the receptacle; style unbranched. Fruit elongate, 1-1.4 mm long, minutely tuberculate, pale brown.
There are two subspecies. Dorstenia foetida subsp. foetida in Somaliland and Somalia, Sudan (possibly South Sudan), and Yemen and subsp. lancifolia in southern Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, eastern Kenya, and northeastern Tanzania.
Modified slightly from the account in the Flora of Somalia to which The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, hold the copyright.