The many cream-coloured, thistle-like florets of Tarchonanthus littoralis are small, growing in terminal or axillary panicles, usually covered in hairs.
The picture shows the large spray of small male flowers. Female flowers are found on separate trees. Inflorescences on male trees dry out when the pollen has been distributed, becoming brown and dull as they wither.
On the female trees, the fluffy white balls expand from flower to fruit, prolonging the phase of their allure (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; iSpot; http://pza.sanbi.org).