Macledium spinosum gives more than an inkling as to the significance of its spikeflower common name when these spiny stem-tip bud beginnings are considered.
Long narrow spines, hard and pale yellow, every cluster pugnaciously mounted for all-round stem-tip defence, including from the air. Buds to develop are very unlikely to be harmed before or during their flowering.
Plants use very diverse mechanisms for surviving until seed can be set. One species may resort to direct or physical defence, another to such production volumes for feeding herbivores and always ensuring a surplus for germination as well, or seed covers may remain undamaged in the alimentary tracts of their consumers, prepared for later growth.
The velvety leaf softness a little lower down in picture is in stark contrast to the spine clusters (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Leistner, (Ed.), 2000; iNaturalist).