This Heterorhachis aculeata bud is still all green involucral bracts. Long, flat and narrow, the outer two rows of bracts spread already while some inner ones fold over the centre like awkward arms holding a baby.
Some of the pale green, triangular bracts in the lowermost row may occasionally grow a lateral lobe ending in a spine, a leaf-related “memory” arising in the meristem cells while the bract was forming. In some cases, a simple, unlobed bract ends in a nosy twist of its tip towards the side.
The stem-tips of this plant are hairy overall; most hairs short, pale and soft, covering all visible surfaces barring spines. A few hairs are long or woolly, mainly restricted to the rolled under margins or lower surfaces (Leistner, (Ed.), 2000; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; iNaturalist).