The leaves of Spirostachys africana or tamboti are simple and spirally arranged on the branches. The leaf shape is lanceolate to elliptic or oblong. Leaf dimensions vary between 2 cm to 7 cm by 1 cm to 3,5 cm.
Tamboti leaf colour varies from dark to dull green, turning yellowish, occasionally bright red or yellow with age and often retaining the colour for a time after they land on the ground. Leaf texture is leathery, sometimes slightly hairy. The margins are toothed or scalloped.
The thin leaf petiole, the stalk, may be short or up to 1 cm long. There are two small glands on the leaf where it joins this stalk. Small stipules grow beside the leaf stalk on the stem, disappearing early.
Tamboti flowers grow in thin catkin-like spikes from the axils of reddish bracts. Becoming 3 cm long, most of the flowers on each catkin are male, only a few female ones occurring near the base (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Wikipedia).