The ivory to greenish white buds of Freylinia lanceolata seen here are slightly club-shaped before they open, when the pointed corolla lobes will bend back from the mouth of the long tube.
The rich yellow colouring on the inside of the open corollas has impact through numbers rather than individual flower presence. This happens when blossoming peaks in the clustered heads. Bloom time is more pronounced as winter approaches to midwinter, but rain may bring flowering at any time during the year.
Prolonged flowering seasons are a real boon for those hungry insects that can negotiate the narrow tubes to reach some nectar… while some of them become lunch for insectivorous birds skilled in mealtime ambush. There are many such bird species in the Western Cape where this plant grows, including barbets, thrushes, the blackheaded oriole and the Cape robin.
The anthers of the flowers are similarly coloured as the corolla lobes, therefore about invisible. Not so the stubby green stigmas that are eye-catching in the flower mouths (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).