Shrubs to 2.5 m. Leaves: blade broadly elliptic to suborbiculate, 5–6 × 4–5 mm, length 1.2–1.3 times width, rigid, base round, margins not thickened, revolute, apex round to broadly acute, surfaces scabridulous. Inflorescences cymose panicles. Flowers: sepals rounded-deltate, 1 mm; petals obovate-oblong, 2–2.5 mm. Fruits 3.5–4.5 mm.
Phenology: Flowering spring and fall; fruiting summer–fall.
Habitat: Rocky slopes, hillsides, dry plains, ridges, ledges, rimrock.
Elevation: 300–1700 m.
Ariz., N.Mex., Tex., Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila).
In the flora area, Mortonia scabrella occurs from trans-Pecos Texas to southeastern Arizona.