Young flowerheads of Macledium spinosum may be pink, purple or white. In each flowerhead the group of deeply five-lobed disc florets in the centre are surrounded and thus protected by several rows of sharply spine-tipped bracts. A flowerhead becomes about 2 cm in diameter.
Flowering happens in spring and summer. This spent flowerhead was photographed in April in the Little Karoo when it was all about seed, not flowers. The plant may be abundant here, but is not found in the fynbos of the Little Karoo (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010).