The narrow bracts growing in rings below each Gorteria diffusa subsp. diffusa flowerhead are all covered in ascending hairs that do not extend to the bract tips. A gap between upper and lower floral bracts is visible below the flowerhead.
The bracts are similar apart from the ones in the lowest ring being shorter. A dense, whitish green mass of hairs is visible at the base of the lower bracts, wider than the blackish base of the flowerhead.
The outer surfaces of the rays are dull orange in the photo, apart from the dark longitudinal lines. On some plants the rays are greenish or nearly black on the outside.
The stem leaves immediately below the bracts exceed them in length (Le Roux, et al, 2005).