The alternate to spiralling leaves of Diosma hirsuta ascend rather gracefully up the stems and overlap. Stem elongation spreads them lower down where the stems become visible and start to turn reddish.
The leaves are narrow, needle-like and more sharply pointed than spine-tipped. The blades are hairy when young, their out-curved tips withering soon. A buchu scent or the smell of boiled milk is exuded strongly when the leaves are crushed (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Manning, 2007; Leistner, (Ed.), 2000; iNaturalist).