The flowers of Cyrtanthus mackenii are long and narrow with recurved tips, and the leaves are narrowly lance-shaped. This species var. cooperi has yellow or cream-coloured flowers. The flowers are sweetly scented and pollinated by night-flying moths. Adult plants reach about 400 mm high in full flower, and the individual flowers measure up to 50 mm long. They prefer a lightly shaded position, ideally receiving morning sun and afternoon shade, and like to be planted with the necks of their bulbs slightly exposed above soil level.