The shiny red leaf beginnings of Cussonia spicata sprout in rounded clusters at every branch tip when the spring warmth arrives. Commonly winter deciduous, the display in the photo is an annual event.
The mature leaf has a straight stalk up to 60 cm long, at the tip of which the leaf divides digitately into five to nine spreading primary leaflets. Halfway up the leaflet there may be a further division into three terminal or secondary leaflets. Leaflets are lance-shaped and deeply lobed with conspicuous midribs. Mature leaflet colour varies from deep green to bluish green.
The overall result is unusual for a leaf: a bi-digitate, spreading structure, alluring in its complexity and conspicuous in its size of up to 70 cm in diameter (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).
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