There are 14 synonyms including Breynia disticha f. nivosa, Breynia nivosa and Phyllanthus nivosus.
Snowbush are evergreen shrubs 1.5 to 3 m high with 1 or more trunks.
They sucker from the roots and the base of the trunk and can form clumps.
Small zigzagged branchlets are red or burgundy.
Arching branches have alternate leaves in 2 ranks (distichous).
Leaves are on reddish petioles around 3 mm long.
The 2 pink to red pointed stipules 1.5 mm long at the base persist.
The ovate, elliptic to almost round blades are up to 4 or 6 cm long.
They have a rounded tip sometimes with a mucro (short abrupt point).
Occasional leaves are all green but most are variegated in cream or white.
Some leaves are almost all white and others are pink to red, all on the same plant.
Inflorescences are a solitary male or female flower in a leaf axil.
Males are towards the base of the short side branches and females near the end.
Males are on a shorter pedicel than the females but both can be nearly 1 cm long.
Both have an obovate (inverted cone) calyx up to 3 mm long.
The 6 greenish sepals are in 2 whorls with their bases fused.
There are no petals or nectary disk.
Male flowers have 3 stamens and no ovary or pistillode (rudimentary ovary).
Females have an ovary with 3 locules each with 2 ovules.
There are 3 free styles with bifid stigmas.
There are no stamens or staminodes.
The green then red fruit are slightly flattened berries up to 5 mm wide.
There are a few cultivars.