This inflorescence of Gomphocarpus cancellatus nears the end of its flowering. There are still some buds and open flowers, but the new action is lower down. Withered floral parts have dropped off some stalks. The narrow, forwardly pointing sepals, now turned brown, have closed again after the blooming. In the absence of petals, the sepals can do that, protecting the growing fruit already bulging at the calyx base.
The last buds to open show the seams between the petal edges bursting open at the top of the inflorescence in the picture (www.plantzafrica.com; Manning, 2007).