The large, yellow flowerhead of Berkheya barbata grows solitary at a branch tip. It may measure 10 cm across. The ray florets are long and spreading, hiding the sharp spines on the margins of the bracts below. These bracts will persist after the flower has withered, serving to protect its treasure of developing seeds from the hungry. Only the tiny five-lobed disc florets, similarly coloured as the ray florets, are fertile.
Flowering begins late in winter, continuing to midsummer (Manning, 2007).