The alternate leaves of Trema orientalis grow on fairly short stalks, the stipules short-lived.
The leaf-shape is ovate and nearly symmetrical with a lobed base and the tip tapering to a longish point. The margins are finely and regularly toothed all around or closely so, as opposed to Celtis africana leaves that are serrated only in their upper halves. Leaf dimensions are 4 cm to 20 cm long and 2,5 cm to 5 cm wide; particularly coppice leaves tend to be large.
The midrib is accompanied by two large veins emerging from the base. They have more numerous lateral veins than the midrib itself, but only on their outsides.
The bright to dark green leaves are shiny on top as in the photo, the lower surfaces dully pale green, rough and hairy with the veins prominent, sunken on the upper surface.
These leaves are sometimes eaten cooked as a spinach or marog dish and are browsed by antelopes (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; Pooley, 1993).