These nearly open, green buds of Eucomis autumnalis inflorescences have the characteristic crowns of leafy bracts at the top. Small, narrow bracts also subtend each individual flower.
There are three subspecies of E. autumnalis, differentiated by the shape of their peduncles or inflorescence stalks. These are subsp. autumnalis with cylindrical peduncle, growing from the Eastern Cape to Malawi, subsp. clavata with club-shaped (or clavate) peduncle found in KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and the region north of the Vaal River to Botswana and subsp. amaryllidifolia with club-shaped peduncle and linear leaves, found in the Eastern Cape and western Free State (Manning, 2009; www.plantzafrica.com).