In winter the stem tips of Tylecodon wallichii subsp. wallichii are covered in seasonal yellow-green leaves. They are spindle-shaped, succulent and about 10 cm in length. The leaves will shrivel up gradually from their tips when the weather becomes hot and dry. They assume a reddish colour before they start dropping off in late spring, before the plant flowers.
This species is sometimes confused with the similar looking T. cacalioides, another plant with leaf toxicity that holds danger for livestock. The latter species only occurs from Ladismith eastwards to De Rust (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Shearing and Van Heerden, 2008; Vahrmeijer, 1981).