Evergreen, upright, bushy shrub; to 0.5m tall (depending on pruning regime).
Foliage dark brown-green, young growth tinged dark red.
Leaves linear, to 6mm, <0.5mm broad.
Flowers white, buds dull red; tubular, to 5mm long; in raceme-like clusters, florets in threes or in pairs; style becoming emergent, + straight; style-end tinged red; ovary + cylindrical, c. 2.5mm long, glabrous; seed not formed; calyx lobes 4, rarely two dorsal lobes fused; stamens 8, included; filaments with sigmoid bend below anther; anthers dark red, with amber awns; pollen not formed; nectar evident in base of corolla but no conspicuous nectary ring.
The foliage of Erica x vanleuvenii is much finer than in the parent heathers.
Unlike clones of other hybrid heaths, ‘Dark Star’ does not have the colourful (discoloured) young shoots (“spring tips”).