The leaves of the deciduous tree, Pappea capensis, are alternate, simple and crowded at stem tips on stout petioles of up to 1,5 cm long.
The leaf shape is oblong to almost rounded, both the leaf apex and base are rounded. Leaf dimensions are 2,5 cm to 4 cm by 0,8 cm to 1,2 cm in arid habitat, 7 cm to 17 cm by 6 cm in high rainfall areas.
Leaf margins are extremely variable, from markedly toothed or even spine-toothed to entire; deeper serration is more common on the leaves of saplings and coppice shoots. Leaf surfaces are wavy, hairy and leathery, usually rough to the touch. The leaf colour is green or dull green above, paler below.
Leaf venation is pale and conspicuous on both surfaces, raised below. Many parallel, lateral veins ascend from the midrib, splitting before they reach the margin. Much net-veining is still visible to the naked eye (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997).