Stems of Elephantorrhiza burkei are usually covered in bark that is dark grey to reddish in colour. In picture the reddish colouring is only seen on stems of intermediate age, the youngest being green or yellow-green, the older ones grey.
Stems are smooth apart from some gnarled patches near nodes. Leaves did not persist upon the older branches seen here. The branches are unarmed and about hairless (Van Wyk and Malan, 1997; Coates Palgrave, 2002).