It is an erect, suberect or trailing, densely hairy, annual bush. The tap root produces a branched root system with smooth, rounded nodules. The pods are narrow, cylindrical and up to six cm long. The plant grows 30–100 cm with large hairy leaves and 4–6 cm seed pods. While the urad dal was, along with the mung bean, originally placed in Phaseolus, it has since been transferred to Vigna.