The simple, hairless leaves of Laurophyllus capensis are spirally arranged upon the stems on petioles of up to 2 cm. Leaf texture is leathery, only the upper surface being glossy. Ascending, straight lateral veins angling out from the creamy white midrib are conspicuous upon the upper leaf surface, while much translucent, angular net-veining is visible on the pale surface below. The leaf shape is oblong to elliptic, both the apex and the base tapering. Leaves become 3 cm to 12 cm long and 2,5 cm to 4 cm wide.
The generic name, Laurophyllus, was formed from the Latin word laurus referring to the laurel or bay tree that has similar leaves and phyllon or phyllum, Greek for leaf.
The small white flowers of the female tree from which the winged fruits develop leave behind their fringed woody bracts that resemble tiny antlers. These bracts gave cause for the earlier generic name, Botryceras, meaning clustered horns (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Bean and Johns, 2005; Andrew, 2012; www.plantzafrica.com).