The deciduous Kirkia wilmsii has densely crowded, stem-tip leaves; pale green when young. These leaves are famous for their autumn colours. The leaves are compound, 10 to 23 pairs of slender, narrowly ovate leaflets, as well as one at the tip, grow from the rachis. The leaflet tip tapers, the base is rounded and the margins finely toothed or entire. Leaflets may be slightly asymmetric; their dimensions are 6 mm to 30 mm by 2 mm to 6 mm. The leaflets have no stalks (petiolules), while the petiole of the entire leaf is up to 4 cm long.
The South African distribution of K. wilmsii lies in the northern provinces only: in North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).