The leaves of Berkheya purpurea are oblong, elaborately and variably lobed and spine-toothed. The upper leaf surfaces are coarsely and glandular-haired, the lower surfaces white and woolly.
The undulations of the leaf margins are enhanced by bulges upon the upper leaf surfaces in the somewhat reticulated areas between the net-veining. Shine is visible on the leaf surfaces as well as on the short white hairs. The leaf folds in slightly along its midrib. Leaf length generally reaches 25 cm, sometimes longer. Also the leaf stalks up the stems are spiny-winged (Manning, 2009; www.plantzafrica.com).