The freshly emerging inflorescence of Lachenalia bulbifera shows coloured buds even when it is just pushing up inside the protective, encircling leaf (or leaves) at ground level. The individual flower buds are closely bunched, flat-tipped and squashed initially, before they are given room to swell out in preparation of opening.
The above-ground parts of the plant appear freshly from the bulb every year, as the plant is deciduous. In this specimen there is only one leaf with purplish red margins.
The leaf is covered in irregularly shaped and unevenly sized dull purple blotches. There are also patches of fine purple spots on parts of the leaf's upper surface and evenly distributed purple colouring on the lower surfaces of the curved-in margins. Some say L. bulbifera leaves are spotless, the red-flowering, spotted leaf plant in the Cape being L. punctata; not all (Manning, 2007).