This ambitious Protea mucronifolia plant, although small manages a range of flowerhead stages simultaneously. There are buds as well but hidden behind the leaves.
On the younger heads the dense and erect cluster of perianths form a purplish pink cylinder to cone with rounded, white-haired top. Once the styles start to elongate beyond the perianths’ capacity, those on the outside of the cone first, they break free in their midsections, bulging outwards.
The style tips are then, for a while still stuck in the perianth tips, where pollen will be deposited upon these style tips, now preparing to become the thread-like pollen presenters. Shortly afterwards the styles escape, angle out freely and stand tall, while the perianth segments collapse in the base of the head, the leftovers of an earlier, vital stage, now of no further use or significance (Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; Rourke, 1980; iNaturalist).