The compact early stage of the Wurmbea spicata var. spicata inflorescence, growing on an unbranched stem, is a truncated conic section of blackish maroon to dark, red purple buds resembling small fishes caught in a net. The inflorescence is held up by a sturdy cylindrical peduncle, dull red-brown and bare between upper leaf and buds.
Flowering happens from late winter through spring. The photo was taken in September (Manning, 2007; Bean and Johns, 2005; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; iNaturalist; www.fernkloof.org.za).