The simple leaves of Athanasia pubescens are alternate to spiralling on the faintly ridged and hairy upper stems. Lower stems become grey, leafless and woody.
The spreading leaves are stalkless, often slightly asymmetrical, a feature visible particularly at their tips. The leaf-shape is oblanceolate, i.e. narrowly lance-shaped and wider near tip than base. The tips are rounded to pointed and the margins entire. The thickish, leathery blades are covered in mealy hairs rendering the otherwise dark to dull green surfaces greyish (Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; iNaturalist).