Three stages of flower development of wild cotton, Gomphocarpus cancellatus, can be seen in this photo. Buds crown the inflorescence on top, whitish open flowers are in the second cluster visible on the left lower down and aging orange-yellow flowers in the third cluster are in view on the right, near the bottom of the almost spherical inflorescence.
Some green leaves growing near the stem tip are protruding among the individual flowers. A whitish, hairy peduncle of one of the flowers is also peeping from the sagging lower cluster.
The colouring of the open flowers and buds of G. cancellatus vary across the species distribution. Blooming happens from autumn to midsummer (www.plantzafrica.com; Manning, 2007).