Spring colouring of soft and fresh Diospyros mespiliformis leaves is very different from that of mature leaves, particularly on saplings. The photo was taken in the Mjejane Game Reserve in December when the rusty red new growth contrasted like flowers against the predominant green of the bush around.
Gradually relinquishing their brown-red colouring shade by shade for a pale yellow-green, the festive season for these leaves tends to linger. The shine seems to wear off faster than the colour, only a few leaves in picture still appearing glossy.
The midrib is subtle at this early stage in the leaf development, evident from the angle of the slight central fold, visible on several blades in picture. The leaves, although young, almost invariably point down, their petioles tired from birth.
Young leaf hairiness is reported, not much seen here, possibly variable. The tree is deciduous, the leaf cycle including a dark yellow autumn show (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).