It’s a shrubby succulent up to 3 feet tall. The stems are remarkably flexible, have smooth reddish bark and are bare much of the year. In the hot dry months in the summer the plants will put out small, green, heart-shaped leaves. As the rains begin in later summer, the leaves will double or triple in size. If the summer is very dry, the leaves will remain small. Early in September the leaves will begin to turn yellow and are usually gone by the end of the month.  It bears white, diminutive, bell-shaped flowers. The seed capsules are large. The seeds are singular and contained in a globose capsule. When the seeds are ripe, the capsule explodes, flinging the contents far and wide. Propagates via its massive underground roots which can produce new stems quickly the plants are quite frost sensitive and often grow among rocks which will absorb heat on sunny winter days and reradiate that heat back to the plants.

The local common names come from the sap, which is clear when fresh but reddish brown as it coagulates. The roots contain a red dye, and the clear sap is said to be able to seal wounds as it coagulates quickly on contact with the air. The O’odham use Limber bush stalks extensively in basketry.