Photographed in April near Oudtshoorn, these Pteronia flexicaulis stem tips show an old flowerhead from the previous summer as well as young new branched tips grown from the leaf axils around it. This closed flowerhead, where seeds are forming, resembles the shape of the earlier bud of the flowerhead, although not its green colour.
Young leaves, growing from a sheath that soon splits, are sticky as is the flowerhead before it dries out. An apt common name of gombossie (little gum bush) exists in Afrikaans. Leaf tips are rounded.
The plant grows from a single stem and doesn’t resprout after fire. These leaves may have a good colour, but are never browsed (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; JSTOR; iSpot).