The leathery frond-like leaves of Stangeria eriopus grow from the branched stems that in turn emerge from the underground tuber. They grow on long, densely white-haired petioles, becoming about 2 m in length. These leaf stalks have no prickles or spines as some cycad petioles do.
The leaves are glossy dark-green to dull green, but bright green when young. Leaflets are oblong to lanceolate on short petiolules. They taper to acutely pointed tips and also taper to their somewhat rounded bases. The leaflets curve down in sickle-shape, their midribs prominent. Leaflets are only occasionally positioned opposite each other upon the rachis.
The specific epithet, eriopus, was derived from the Greek prefix erio meaning woolly and the suffix pus meaning footed, referring to the velvety leaf petioles.
The generic name, Stangeria, comes from a Dr Stanger who sent a living plant to England in 1851, believing it to be a fern. When it coned there, its nature became better understood (Van Wyk, et al, 1997; Van Wyk and Gericke, 2000; Coates Palgrave, 2002; Wikipedia; www.pacsoa.org.au).