This spent flowerhead of Dicoma picta looks a mess of floral leftovers. Multiple florets grew here not so long ago, the signs of their departure resembling the breaking of camp by an army that was surprised by the sudden arrival of an enemy. In D. picta this is the normal process; tried and tested for the setting of seed more often than not.
Spiny bracts still present here are long like lances for dealing with whatever enemy. Other bracts are broad, short and tapering like a proper, supportive calyx. Caring for the troops is as vital as confronting attackers.
Enemies? The species is much browsed, unlike some other Dicoma species (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010).