The involucral bracts of Protea neriifolia low down on the head are short and functional, present in a protective rather than decorative capacity. They are greenish yellow in picture, their hard margins evenly brown-banded, gradually turning papery. The black terminal tufts start on those higher up where the bract shape is longest, narrower and oblong.
These inner, upper bract rows are different: softer and flowery, particularly the innermost one. It is still a covering, but more of an alluring ring of florally coloured, fluffy-tipped marketing heralds of nectar sources.
The white parts of the upper bracts are pale pink or deep rosy red on many plants of this species, always covered in silky hairs below their black tips (Manning, 2007; Bean and Johns, 2005).