This species is characterized by its somewhat small to medium-sized, generally elliptic to elliptic-oblong, thin-textured leaves with the venation characteristically closely reticulated and evident on the abaxial surface; its pedunculate, branched, several-flowered inflorescences; its pedicellate flowers with a short lobed calyx; its slender white to pink corollas with the tube 1.5-2 cm long and the apex acute to acuminate in bud; and its somewhat small fruits. Its leaf shape and size vary, but often the leaf base is rounded to truncate. This species is similar vegetatively to Ixora clandestina and these are sometimes confused, but Ixora clandestina has subsessile, solitary flowers. Ixora mangabensis is also similar to Ixora emirnensis, which has the leaf venation prominulous but less well marked and the corolla buds obtuse at the apices. The distribution of Ixora mangagensis appears to be disjunct between northwestern and east-central Madagascar, but no morphological differences are evident among the plants of these two areas. This species appears to be rather common locally where it is found.