The leaf-stalk may be of variable length from 3 to 8 centimetres, finely pubescent on the top surface or silky on the bottom surface, red or green, rough. The lamina, lobed or not, has a non-lobed ovate serrated edge, with an acuminated apex and from 5 to 7 palmate reticulations, sometimes palmately lobed with 5 to 7 deep lobes, each lobe jagged, with a serrated edge, acute apex, a green gland on the central rib at the bottom and the top glabrate and the bottom surface hairy along the ribs, rough.
As already pointed out, kenaf leaves are highly variable in shape.
From a genetic point of view, the "palmate leaf" characteristic is dominant with respect to the "whole leaf" characteristic. The shape of the edges of the kenaf leaf is very close to that of hemp leaves. The only difference (see page 32) is that the edges of the hemp leaf are toothed, they have small triangular indentations that may or may not be identical, whereas the edges of the kenaf leaf have crenatures, obtuse or rounded teeth.
Few people know that under the name of Persian origin "Kenaf", the bast of another species is also marketed, rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa var. altissima) cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical countries under 8° latitude north and south.
Main differences seen by observing the leaves
Hemp leaves, on the contrary to kenaf leaves, are sticky to touch and are a darker green on the top of the blade. Although kenaf leaves also have this difference between the top and bottom faces, it is more marked on hemp leaves.