Cussonia paniculata subsp. sinuata has digitate leaves, i.e. they are compound, branching from one point, the tip of a leaf stalk, like fingers radiating in fan-like manner. The leaves are concentrated at the stem tips and are semi-deciduous, falling in winter in colder areas. One such leaf may have a diameter of 60 cm and seven to eleven pale and leathery simple leaflets. Each leaflet is shallowly or deeply lobed to form segments. Leaflet apices and bases taper. The leaflet petiolules (stalks) are at most 3 cm long, while the compound leaf’s main petiole (stalk) may be 30 cm long.
The flowers are small and green in dense, short spikes, branched and cylindrical. These spikes form impressive panicles as in the picture taken on a southern slope of the Magaliesberg. The fruits are fleshy drupes, crowded on the spikes. They become purple as they ripen during autumn and winter (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).
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