The erect, young leaves of Encephalartos paucidentatus seen here are either straight or curving. Their rachises (or rachides), the axial structures that bear the pinnae or leaflets, are grey or grey-brown in the young leaves and hairy. On the old leaves that spread below the rachises are green, not yellow as is said to be the common colour for the species.
Mature leaves are darker, glossy green than the young ones, once the hairs have gone. Small nodules, slight protuberances impacting upon the smoothness of the leaflets, are scattered along the upper (adaxial) leaflet surfaces.
Leaflets are reflexed or curl downwards from the rachis. They don’t quite grow opposite each other on the plant in picture. The leaflets do not overlap, slightly spaced in the flat plane of the frond in which their margins might touch or be aligned.
The attachments of the leaflets upon the rachis are positioned in two rows angling in towards the upper, adaxial side of the leaf or frond top. Whether those attachments amount to (short) petiolules is debatable.
Leaflets become from 15 cm to 25 cm long and from 2 cm to 3 cm wide. The lowermost leaflets, progressively shorter, are sometimes little more than a few prickles or spines (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Hugo, 2014; www.plantzafrica.com).