The leaves of Elephantorrhiza elephantina grow on annual stems of up to 60 cm that are usually hairless. These stems are usually unbranched, emerging from the plant’s large, red perennial rootstock that bears rhizomatous roots.
The bluish-green leaves are bipinnate or twice compound and fern-like. Leaf dimensions are about 13,5 cm long by 3,5 cm wide. They grow on stalks of 13 mm to 36 mm. There are from 2 to 17 pairs of pinnae per leaf. The tiny leaflets or pinnules become up to 10 mm long and 2 mm wide. The base of a leaflet is asymmetric, its tip hair-like.
This plant has been used for the tanning of leather and in traditional medicine (Pooley, 1998; Van Wyk and Malan, 1997; www.plantzafrica.com).