The simple, opposite and stalked leaves of Stachys aethiopica are cordate (heart-shaped) or ovate (egg-shaped). The margins are broadly toothed or scalloped.
The soft blades have four or more curving veins emerging from the leaf-bases, sunken on the upper surfaces. Smaller vein branches disappear into the uneven net-veining. The sometimes glossy upper surfaces are medium to dark green and variably to sparsely covered in hairs, sometimes gland-tipped ones. The leaves are aromatic, probably more strongly than pleasantly. Leaf dimensions are about 3 cm long and 1,5 cm wide.
Young stems are sometimes square in cross-section (Curtis-Scott, et al, 2020; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Manning, 2007; iNaturalist; http://pza.sanbi.org).