The opposite leaves of Pycnostachys urticifolia are ovate in shape, growing on sturdy petioles. There may be large internodes between leaf pairs as in the photo.
Four stem-tip leaves can be seen folding in like bracts around the green beginnings of an inflorescence. There is a ridge on the stem between the petiole bases of each leaf pair, while no stipules are in evidence.
The leaf base is flat to rounded, while the leaf tip tapers to an acute point, sometimes attenuating. Leaf margins are evenly scalloped, but not or less so at the base and tip. Leaves may be wavy, fold in along the midrib and may curve down along its length. Leaf surfaces are coarse, covered in gland dots and sometimes hairs. The leaf midribs and ascending lateral veins are conspicuous, translucent against the light.
Urticifolia (Latin) means nettle-like leaves. The leaves become up to 8 cm long, reducing in size up the stems (Onderstall, 1984; Manning, 2009; www.plantzafrica.com; www.zimbabweflora.co.zw).