The leaves of Dovyalis caffra grow in tight clusters on hard stem cushions found on small side-branchlets. The leaves have short petioles becoming up to 5 mm long.
The leaf-shape is narrowly or broadly obovate with rounded or notched tip. The leaf margins are entire and slightly rolled under. The flat, dark green, leathery blades are glossy above and paler below. Veins are conspicuous on both surfaces. Young leaves are sparsely hairy, older ones glabrous or hairless.
One fierce, straight spine shows itself in picture (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; Pooley, 1993).