The compound or imparipinnate leaf (extra leaflet at the rachis tip) of Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra, the marula, has from three to seven pairs of leaflets. It is hairless.
Upper leaves have pink-red petioles and rachises, also the leaflet petiolules are similarly coloured with some green already visible in the photo. The developed leaflets seen here are a dull green on top, having lost earlier red and glossiness. Under-surfaces are usually paler and bluer.
Leaflet shape is ovate to elliptic, its slightly asymmetrical base tapering broadly. Leaf tips that may generally be broadly tapering are mainly narrowly attenuate on the young leaves in the photo, several of them twisting sideways or curving down.
The margins are usually entire, but the occasional toothing can be spotted here, typical of young and coppice leaves. Blades may be flat, slightly in-curved along the midribs or the margins markedly wavy. Leaflet midribs are ridged on both surfaces.
Leaves are from 15 cm to 30 cm long, leaflets from 3 cm to 10 cm long and 1,5 cm to 4 cm wide.
At the end of the season the leaflets turn yellow before the leaves fall (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; iSpot).