The flowers of Xyris capensis are clustered in a roundish spike comprising up to six flowers. They are held high upon a wiry, leafless peduncle. This green flower stalk becomes orange-brown and shiny lower down as the inflorescence matures.
A few rows of conspicuous brown bracts that gradually become thinner and papery towards their margins overlap in an imbricate manner, subtending the flower. When the bisexual flower opens, it is exserted above these bracts.
Three yellow sepals surround the three-chambered superior ovary, the three stamens and the (again three) delicate yellow petals that tend to wilt early. In the photo the petals haven’t properly spread yet. The fruit to follow is a capsule.
Flowering happens from late spring to mid-autumn. This photo was taken in January (Van Wyk and Malan, 1997; Lowrey and Wright, 1987; www.iucnredlist.org).