Flowers in various developmental stages are to be seen in this photo. Note how narrow the lower parts of the inner row of involucral bracts are below their spatulate tips. The tips may be paler or redder in different forms of Protea eximia, while creamy green is the typical colour lower down, the parts that were covered when the bud was closed. Plants sold in the nursery market are often selected to represent the deeper pink colours.
The spent flowerhead at the back of the bush shows the untidy result of the opening of the flowers: Once the pollen presenters, the styles of individual flowers, have escaped from the cover of the perianths, taking the pollen from the anthers with on their sticky tips, the perianth sections (to which the stamens are attached) collapse in all directions. This process is just starting in the wide open flowerhead in the foreground, where just a few of the outer flowers have already opened.
The leaves are generally upturned, as seen here with their wavy margins (Rourke, 1980; Eliovson, 1973).