The stubby grey-green, blue-green or yellow-green leaves of Nelia schlechteri grow opposite, shaped between triangular and rounded in cross-section. The leaf surfaces are smooth, undotted or faintly so. Leaf length is about 3 cm.
The bases of the leaf-pairs are joined and the clump is compact. The leaf-tips are slightly expanded, bulging particularly in the upper parts when moisture has been sufficient. The keel ridges are distinct, cream in picture.
Full sun in Richtersveld desert-like conditions is no problem, a fair amount of sunlight is reflected by the light colouring (Williamson, 2010; Herre, 1971; iNaturalist).