Plant flowering 3.5-6 dm high. Leaves fasciculate, 5-10 dm long, covered beneath with appressed pale brown-centered scales; sheaths elongate, narrow, inconspicuous, brown toward the base; blades linear, long-attenuate, 5-12 mm wide. Scape erect or ascending, slender; scape-bracts subfoliaceous, imbricate. Inflorescence laxly bipinnate from 4 to 7 branches or rarely subdigitate, 7-13 cm long, glabrous; primary bracts broadly ovate, acute or acuminate, the lowest rarely equaling or exceeding the branches, the others about half as long; spikes spreading, fusiform or elliptic, 2-6 cm long, dense, the lowest short-stipitate. Floral bracts imbricate, ovate, obtuse, cucullate, about equaling the sepals to slightly shorter after anthesis, thin, prominently nerved, yellow; flowers subsessile. Sepals narrowly elliptic, acute, 12-16 mm long, thin, nerved, short-connate; petals acute, yellow. Capsule cylindric, 15 mm long, dark violet.
Panama, Colombia, Ecuador. PANAMA. COCLE: Cerro Pajita, El Valle de Anton, 28 Sep 1946, Allen 3751 (MO, US). COLOMBIA. CHOCO: La Oveja to Quibdo, Apr 1931, Archer 1747 (US); Rio Condoto, Quebrada Guarapo to Mandinga, 22 Apr 1939, Killip 35186 (US); Rio Negro, Quibd6 to Tutunendo, 4 Apr 1958, Cuatrecasas & Llano 24213 (US). VALLE: Cordoba, 17 Feb 1939, Killip & Garcia 33449 (US); Estero del Encanto, Pacific Coast, Rio Yurumangui to Rio Cambre, 11 Feb 1944, Cuatrecasas 16172 (F, GH); Quebrada San Joaquin, Buenaventura Bay, 23 Feb 1946, Cuatrecasas 19880 (VALLE); 19967 (F, US}; Buena ventura, 8 Dec 1946, Foster 2323 (GH); Anchicaya, Cali to Buenaventura, I 1 Aug I 952, K 4824 (C, COL). NARINO: Rio San Miguel, Ecuadorian frontier, 8 Dec I940, Cuatrecasas 10897 (COL). Without exact locality: Triana s n (COL). ECUADOR. ZAMORA: Rio Zamora, Cumberatza to Zumbi, 23 Feb 1963, Gilmartin 844 (US).