Buds of Kumara plicatilis flowers point outwards to slightly upwards on their sturdy pedicels. The bulging shapes taper just slightly along the almost cylindrical body lengths before abruptly ending in pointed or flat, screwdriver-like tips. Some ridges are visible where the segments will split later as the flowers open. Segment keels bring a hint of triangular shape in cross-section. Wrinkling is present on some buds in picture, suggesting a slight water shortage.
The bud colouring varies, several dull pinks to orange-red shades grade into each other, more than the expected scarlet. Purplish hues are stronger on the thick, erect, central stalk, while the flower pedicels share the general colour scheme.
Small, pale, papery bracts are positioned below the base of each flower pedicel (Reynolds, 1974; Van Wyk and Smith, 2003; Jeppe, 1969).