Ayenia compacta is a small shrub producing many erect, branching stems up to 40 centimeters tall from a taproot. The sparse leaves are oval in shape and edged in dull teeth.
The flowers appear in the leaf axils. Each has upcurled sepals in one layer and downcurled petals in a layer just above. Each petal has a threadlike claw.
The capsule fruit is a purple-tinted yellow sphere about half a centimeter wide.
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