The pinkish coloured, thin pollen presenters of Protea aurea subsp. aurea are only slightly taller than the longest, inner bracts of the young flowerhead. The styles are white lower down and thicker than at the tips.
Only the inner two rows of involucral bracts bear the pinkish colouring that makes the heads pretty. The woolly-white bract fringes are accentuated on these upper bracts.
From the second row of bracts downwards (or outwards) the bracts are broad, obtusely pointed, contrasting against the narrow, oblong inner row that has rounded tips here. There are at least four rows of shorter and diminishing, brown bracts below.
Beauty and colour at the top for attracting pollinator birds, give way in the lower parts of the involucre to collective strength in the numerous, short and densely overlapping bracts. Their function is to form a hard wall around the ovaries that will take their time in becoming brown-haired fruits.
The nutlets are retained in this safe shelter, sometimes for a very long time (Manning, 2009; Coates Palgrave, 2002; Rourke, 1980; iNaturalist).