Aloe africana buds are red and fairly uniform, the older ones lower down in the raceme elongating as their moment of opening (and yellowing) approaches. The buds are densely stacked up the raceme.
This raceme is about cylindrical, not tapering to the top as they generally do in this species. The bud tips, however, are all pronouncedly curving up as is the wont of A. africana flowers.
The lack of perianths at the tip of the raceme shows the point where the supply store ran out of building material, leaving only the bare scaffolding as evidence of the limits to growth. Not all buds will bloom when budgeted resources run out (Reynolds, 1974; Van Wyk and Smith, 2003; Jeppe, 1969; Coates Palgrave, 2002).