The cyathia of Euphorbia atrispina var. atrispina are seen here at a stem tip, growing on red stalks that will later dry out to become spines on the stem ridges. As the stalks age and the cyathia drop off, they join the older ones lower down on the stem that have lost firstly their red, then the black colouring to become dry and pale grey.
The top parts of these stems are green near the five yellow-green bracteoles that form the enveloping involucre, the base of the cyathium, a pseudanthium or false flower. Initially the involucre is closed, opening to display either a female flower, consisting of a pistil with ovary at the base, or a few male flowers, each in the form of a single anther on a stem. The cyathia in picture appear like male ones (JSTOR; iSpot).