Small herb to 10 cm high; tuber white inside, subglobose, 0.8-1.5 cm in diameter, sometimes producing several shoots; roots very thick comparing with dimentions of the tuber; tunic membranous. Leaves 6-8, green with yellowish midrib, forming a subterranean white pseudostem, linear, canaliculate, recurved to almost prostrate on the ground, slightly succulent, not exceeding 12.5 cm and 2 mm wide; veins not visible, submersed in leaf tissue; indumentum very sparse, if present, trichomes 2-branched. Scapes 1-8, one-flowered, not exceeding 4 cm; indumentum on scape sparse, trichomes 2-branched; flowers laying on the ground, at leaf base; tepals yellow inside, yellow with a green middle outside; stigma very large. Fruits geotropic; seeds black, colliculate and micropapillate.
An endemic taxon for the Tropical East Africa, occuring only in Kenya and Tanzania in the Afromontane Archipelago-like regional centre of endemism in the Imatongs-Usambara Domain. H. kilimanjarica subsp. prostata is dispersed in the afrosubalpine vegetation zone belt between 2743-3500 m a.s.l. Its bottom limit of vertical range is elevating towards South.
Mountain grassland, Erica, Hypericum, Protea, Alchemilla bushland, grazed pasture, edge of track; in peaty, cotton or sandy soil.