The leaves of Cassia abbreviata are compound with five to twelve pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are ovate or elliptic, thinly textured and hairy below when young. The margins are entire, the apex rounded and the base tapering. The flowers are pale yellow.
The fruit pods are very long, pendulous and conspicuous on the tree from midsummer to autumn. They gave rise to both the common names of long-tail cassia and sambokpeul. The pod is cylindrical, becomes 90 cm long. The pod colour varies in shades of brown and is velvety with hairs. The pods remain on the tree for months.
In the photo taken in the Pilanesberg where the tree was found unexpectedly, beyond the usual distribution range, one reddish brown pod is intact. The other is only a remnant, the inside surface showing parallel, transversal lines, the seeds gone (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).