The leaves of Scabiosa africana grow in one or more stem-tip rosettes. The large leaves angle up and out from the rosette centre, their tips slightly down-curved.
Leaf-shape is obovate with rounded tip and tapering base. The margins are unevenly toothed and scalloped. The midrib is conspicuously white in the lower half of the sparsely hairy upper surface. Leaf size is about 16 cm long and 5 cm wide.
The soft-textured blade surface appears quilted from bulging between ascending lateral veins from the midrib and strong net-veining. New leaves are yellow-green, becoming mid-green as they mature (Manning, 2007; www.plantzafrica.com).