The leaves of Brabejum stellatifolium (SA Tree List No. 72) grow in star-shaped whorls of four to six. The specific name stellatifolium reflects this feature. The leaves are narrow and long, obovate in shape with irregularly toothed margins and prominent midribs. Young leaves are yellowish green. Leaves may be velvety or hairless with fine net-veining visible, more so on the lower surfaces. The leaf tapers at its tip and base. There is a petiole of 1 cm or slightly longer.
The tree is found in kloofs and valleys, often close to watercourses in the south-western Cape. This plant resembles Australian Proteaceae more than it does South African members of the family.
This feature reminds of the earth’s continual transformation and the history of Gondwanaland in which Africa and Australia formed part of the same continent for about 300 million years until about 180 million years ago (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Wikipedia; Esterhuyse, et al, 2001).