Plant stemless, flowering 4 dm high. Leaves many in a dense utriculate rosette, 4-5 dm long; sheaths broadly ovate or elliptic, 1 dm long, brown, densely and finely appressed-brown-lepidote; blades linear-triangular, subfiliform-attenuate, 15 mm wide at the base, glabrous above, densely pale-appressed-lepidote beneath. Scape erect or ascending, slender, glabrous; scape-bracts erect, imbricate, elliptic with elongate divergent to reflexed foliaceous blades, chartaceous, lepidote, red. Inflorescence compound with simple branches, subcylindric, 15-30 cm long, dense toward the apex, interrupted toward the base; primary bracts enfolding and concealing the axillary spikes, submembranaceous, the lower ones like the scape-bracts, the upper merely acute; spikes subsessile with a sterile bract at base, narrowly lanceolate in outline, acute, 2-5 cm long, complanate, 4-6-flowered. Floral bracts erect, densely imbricate, elliptic, broadly acute or obtuse, 16-19 mm long, about equaling the sepals, carinate, subcoriaceous, even, glabrous; flowers subsessile. Sepals lanceolate, obtuse, coriaceous, even, glabrous, much connate posteriorly; petals tubular-erect, narrow, 4 cm long, violet; stamens and pistil exserted.
MEXICO. VERA CRUZ: Zacuapan, Apr 1913, Purpus 6347 (UC); 1913,6421 (UC); May 1919,8219 (GH, MO, Barranca de Texola, Coatepec to Teocelo, 16 Apr 1952, Moore 6280 (BH, US); 20 Apr 1959, Van Hyning 5973 (US); Coatepec, 11 Apr 1957, Foster & Van Hyning 3001 (US). OAXACA: Cerroz Nariz, Usila, Tuxtepec, 19 Apr 1939, Schultes & Reko 664 (GH). WITHOUT LOCALITY: Purpus 8879 (GH, F, MO, NY, UC, US).