The leaves of the Moses-in-the-cradle plant are long, sword-shaped, fleshy and somewhat stiff. They grow in rosettes around the stem, and are dark green above and deep burgundy below. The leaves are held upright, showing off the unusual coloring.
The flowers of the Moses-in-the-cradle plant are small, white, three-petaled flower is hidden in a boat-shaped purple cup, which lies in a leaf axil. Because the flowers are not particularly showy, the plant is grown primarily for its colorful foliage. Flowers can occur at any time during the year.