Herb, 15-150 cm high, woody at base. Stem at base 0.1-0.5 cm in diam., terete, some parts angular or grooved, smooth, simple or poorly branched; internodes 0.2-8 cm long. Leaves sessile, stiff, fleshy, (dried coriaceous, chartaceous to membranous), dull green, narrowly elliptic to ovate-elliptic or narrowly obovate, 1-11 x 0.1-3 cm, base cuneate or rounded, (semi-)amplexicaul; primary vein sunken, flat or slightly prominent above, pale, prominent, secondary veins, if visible, slightly prominent beneath. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary spike, 2-26 cm long, including peduncle of 0.5-7 cm long; bracts and bracteoles narrowly elliptic, 1.5-9 mm long(basal bracts sometimes leaf-like, up to 60 mm long). Flowers somewhat erect, sessile, verticillate, congested; calyx (glossy) green, coriaceous, 5-10 mm long, calyx lobes narrowly triangular, 3-7 x 1-2 mm, margin white, apex long-acuminate; corolla white to pink or purple, in throat dark purple, pink or lilac, chartaceous to membranous, 11-18 mm long, corolla lobes reflexed, narrowly elliptic, 5-9 x 1.5-3 mm, apex acuminate; filaments white, 2-7 mm long, anthers pale yellow or brown, 2.5-4.5 mm long; ovary ovoid, 4 x 1.5 mm, style white, 5 mm long, fleshy, stigma lobes white, 0.5-2 x 0.5-1.5 mm. Fruit green, ovoid or ellipsoid, 5-9 x 1.5-3 mm; seeds brown, 0.3 mm in diam.
C America: present Guianas: present Northern America: Southern America:, Colombia (Colombia ‒ present); Venezuela (Venezuela ‒ present)
Mexico, C America, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Brazil; 250+ collections studied, of which 100 from the Guianas (GU: 28; SU: 38; FG: 34).