A colourful array of Protea glabra leaf colours is presented on the branches in picture. The youngest stem-tip cluster is pinkish red. The slightly older ones are dull olive green before the pale grey to blue-green mature stage sets in. Some stressed yellow leaves are present, suggesting what the bare older stems indicate: leaves are lost permanently from lower, old stems.
When the upper reddish stems elongate, the leaves become well-spaced, spiralling and ascending on their sometimes negligible stalks. Leaf shape is obovate or oblanceolate to elliptic. The leaves taper to acute or obtuse tips where a notable point is present, usually dark. The leaf base also tapers, reaching the midrib just before it meets the stem.
The leaf texture is stiff and leathery, brittle and smooth or hairless apart from an early hairy stage. The leaf veins are mostly obscure.
Leaf dimensions are 4 cm to 7,5 cm by 1,5 c, to 3 cm (Rourke, 1980; Manning, 2007; Coates Palgrave, 2002; iNaturalist).