Psychotria capensis is an evergreen shrub or small tree, 3-8 m, with a slender stem, horizontal branches and pale brown bark. The leaves are shiny, light to dark green above and paler below. The flowers are small cream, shiny yellow fruits ripening to red or black.
Given a thick layer of mulch it will grow in any soil and only requires additional watering in summer and in dry conditions. Although Psychotria capensis seems to thrive under warm, moist conditions, it can be grown in colder regions in protected positions.