True to its name, P. succulentum is characterised by its sturdy water-holding swallowed-stem base. Thin, near-straight shoots grow from this base to a height of around 1.6 feet and are covered in 0.8 inch thorns that come in pairs. Leaves are found on the upper parts of the shoots and are narrow, dark green, and feature Flowers are pink or white.
Pachypodium succulentum is a dwarf shrub, which grows 0.6 to 1 m tall, depending on the climate and conditions of the area. The stem is swollen at the base and turnip-shaped, up to ± 200 mm in diameter, and half buried. It produces several branches which grow between 150–600 mm long. The narrow, dark green leaves are alternate, about 20–60 mm long and 10 mm broad, hairy underneath, with recurved margins. The leaves are borne towards the tips of the branches, among brownish spines, 10 mm to 20 mm long. The spines are modified stipules at the base of the leaves,
and persist after the leaves have fallen. It has 3 spines, 2 are nearly equal in size, and one is smaller.It produces white to crimson, star-shaped flowers at the tips of the branches in spring and early summer, between September and December. The flowers have a long, nearly cylindrical tube, 10–80 mm long and up to 2 mm in diameter, opening to 5 spreading lobes, 8–18 mm long, the middle of each petal marked with a darker stripe. Many seeds are produced in paired seed pods, the seed with a tuft of whitish hairs at one end.