The paired, egg-shaped Oophytum nanum leaf-bodies grow annually with a tiny slit at the top of each body from which the flower emerges.
The succulent leaves are small and soft. Tiny water cells are visible upon their surfaces. Below the slit the leaf-pair is united and rounded. The young leaves are yellowish green or brownish green, turning brown-red with the seasonal rise in temperature before they desiccate to white and papery in summer.
At the end of the growing season the old leaves shrivel up, their wrinkly, dry skins persisting as protective cloaks over the newly emerging leaves that will mature next winter.
The generic name, Oophytum, is derived from the Greek words oon meaning egg and phyton meaning plant, referring to the egg-like leaf bodies (Grenier, 2019; Frandsen, 2017; Le Roux, et al, 2005; Smith, et al, 1998; iNaturalist).