The flowers of the sickle-bush, as Dichrostachys cinerea is commonly known, grow singly or grouped in pendulous, fluffy, axillary spikes during spring and summer. Spike length is 2,5 cm to 5 cm. The generic name of Dichrostachys is derived from Greek, meaning two-coloured spike.
The curious bicoloured flower spike of this tree has a dense jumbled mass of hairy pink or lilac staminodes, sterile stamens, at its base. These staminodes vary considerably in colour across regions within the overall distribution area of the tree as well as within each area and even on individual trees, maybe also with age. The functional flowers on the spike form the narrower yellow section of the cylindrical structure that hangs further down. Each tiny flower in the yellow section of the spike comprises two whorls of fertile stamens plus the female floral parts. The photo shows some of the protruding whitish styles and stigmas of individual flowers. The flowers are fragrant (Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).
Also see the Plant Record under Trees elsewhere on this site for more details on this species. There are also photos of flowers in different developmental stages.