Shrub (0.6-)l-3 m tall, erect, much branched above base, with branches lateral, strict to spreading, forming rounded bush or small 'tree'. Stems green, 4-lined and ancipitious when young, soon 4- lined and rounded, becoming reddish brown and 2-lined to terete in 2nd or 3rd year; cortex exfoliating in strips or (often large) plates; bark pale grey, smooth, thin. Leaves sessile, ascending to spreading; lamina 25-65 x 8-22 mm, oblong to lanceolate-oblong or some- times narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, plane or with margin subrecurved, paler or somewhat glaucous beneath or wholly glaucous, chartaceous, deciduous at basal articulation, apex apiculate- obtuse to rounded, base broadly cuneate and attenuate to narrowly cuneate; venation sometimes rather obscure: c. 10-16 pairs main laterals with subsidiaries and densely reticulate tertiaries, midrib prominent; laminar glands dense. Inflorescence l-3(-7)-flowered, sometimes with paired single flowers or triads or 1-3-flowered branches at node below and very rarely single flowers at third node ('H. splendens'); pedicels 1.5 (terminal)-l0 mm long; bracts foliar or reduced, oblong-elliptic. Flowers 25-45 mm in diam.; buds globose. Sepals 5(4), 6-14(-20) x 4-10 mm, enlarging in fruit, imbricate, very unequal, ovate or oblong to elliptic or elliptic- spathulate or sometimes foliaceous, rounded or apiculate-obtuse, plane or margin recurved, basal veins (3)5-7(9), branching and densely reticulate distally. Petals 5(4), golden yellow to orange- yellow, base soon brownish, becoming incurved-deflexed, 12-25 x 6-14 mm, 1.25-2 x sepals, obovate to oblanceolate, with apiculus lateral (petals sometimes bifid), rounded. Stamens c. 250-650, longest 9-12 mm, 0.45-0.75 x petals. Ovary 3-merous, 6-8 x 3-4(-5) mm, narrowly pyramidal-ovoid to broadly ellipsoid, acute to apiculate-obtuse, placentation incompletely axile; styles 3, 4-6 mm long, 0.65-0.75 x ovary, remaining erect. Capsule 12-15 x 6-8 mm, narrowly ovoid-conic to broadly ovoid-rostrate, rounded-trigonous, exceeding or shorter than sepals and often initially surrounded by them, thickly coriaceous. Seeds blackish brown, c. 1.5 mm long, carinate; testa shallowly linear-reticulate.