The white cone formed by tips of the still closed central florets of Protea scolymocephala only looks like snow or casting sugar, but consists of velvety hairs. It extends down to the shallow, lemon-cream basin of the spreading involucre below. The open florets in the outer rings have tiny, whitish pollen presenters angled outwards on styles red in their upper parts, cream below.
There is a graceful balance in the flowerhead design, perfected into elegance over many generations of seed memory. This effective seed production system has, however, only one design feature in response to appreciative aesthetes of an alien species that speaks admiration and acts destruction: sufficient production volumes to overcome all actions of those that take any notice.
The ascending leaf-tips present the idea of a wider, loose bowl around the flowerhead, its purpose hardly decorative, maybe unobtrusively defensive (Eliovson, 1983; Rourke, 1980; http://pza.sanbi.org).