The escarpment shell-flower, scientifically Bowkeria cymosa, resembles a white seashell; in flower terms a snapdragon. These flowers may reach 1,5 cm in diameter. Unfortunately the red or yellow streaks in the flower throat are not visible in a photo taken from this angle.
The time lapse between individual flowers opening in an inflorescence contributes to maximising the chances of at least one flower reaching fruition and viable seed production.
The cymosa name indicates that the spray of flowers developing together is structured in the form of a cyme, i.e. a usually flat-topped or convex inflorescence in which the central main stem and each side branch end in a flower, the central one on each branch opening first. Baby's breath, dogwood and the tomato are also examples of plants that have inflorescences structured in the form of cymes. This plant's cyme happens to be pendulous.
The Bowkeria genus consists of only three southern African endemic species and forms part of the large Scrophulariaceae or snapdragon plant family (Schmidt, et al, 2002; www.thefreedictionary.com).