The velvety-grey stem-tip leaves of Berkheya cuneata ascend more steeply than the greener ones lower down, older and slowly losing their hair and whiteness. Old leaves may also lose their positions low down on the stems.
The three- to five-spined upper leaf parts have spines where the rolled-under margins are angled. Lower down on the leaf, the obovate leaves have roughly straight margins tapering to the base with no spines. The spines are needle-thin, straight and sharp, positioned well for discouraging browsers (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; iSpot).