Paracephaelis is characterized by its woody habit; interpetiolar triangular stipules; petiolate leaves that are often pubescent; terminal, shortly cymose, rounded, sessile to shortly pedunculate inflorescences; bisexual homostylous flowers; the tubular calyx with 5 triangular lobes; salverform to funnelform corollas with the 5 lobes contorted in bud; the ovary 2-locular, with 3-4 ovules in each locule; and berry-like fruits with the seeds reniform, somewhat flattened, and with entire endosperm. A single species, Paracephaelis sericea (Arènes) De Block was separated in the monospecific genus Homolliella, it differs from the other species by its well developed calyx tube, with rather short lobes; the usually sericeous to velutinous external surfaces of the corolla; and its ridged the ovary. However, recently De Block, et al. (2015) in a study which included molecular data concluded that it should not be separated.
De Block (2003) noted that Paracephaelis is closely related to Homollea, although the species of the genera do not have a particularly similar general aspect. Homollea also differs in its generally unbranched inflorescences borne on well developed peduncles and its long narrow calyx lobes. Some species of Paracephaelis are similar in general aspect to Schizenterospermum, but that last genus has the corolla lobes valvate in bud. Paracephaelis is also similar to Tarenna, but Tarenna generally has glabrous, often tough-textured leaves and inflorescences with fewer larger flowers.