Look carefully, in this raceme the six or so budding Heterorhachis aculeata flowerheads among the spiny leaves are each well wrapped in many pointed bracts. The green buds promise conversion into flowerheads soon, the one at the top appearing to lead the advancing pageant.
The triangular involucral bracts taper to pointed tips armed with spines, paler on their lower surfaces than the dark green above. The bract margins are mostly rolled under. There are enough of these bracts growing in three rows around each flowerhead to cover the florets properly inside their cone-shaped shelter, until the floral revelation. The bracts of the middle row tend to be longest.
The few leaves protruding among the buds are narrowly flat-bladed here with a few long lobes angling out from some of their margins (Leistner, (Ed.), 2000; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; iNaturalist).