Herbs 5-20 cm tall; short stout roots, forming dense clumps and oriented like the rays of a star, tapering to apex, 1-10 mm long; stems white to cream, simple. Leaves triangular to narrowly triangular, 2-5 mm long. Flowers solitary, 5-merous, nodding in bud, fragrant; calyx tubular-campanulate, 2.5-4 mm long, tube 1-2 mm long, lobes narrowly ovate to narrowly triangular, 1-2 mm long, sinuses mostly acute; corolla with a white to orange tube, a yellow to orange throat, and blue, rarely purple to white lobes, trumpet-shaped, 10-22 mm long, tube 7-15 mm long, inner side glabrous, lobes narrowly ovate to narrowly obovate, 2-7 mm long, falling off with upper part of corolla tube after anthesis; stamens inserted 2-3 mm below throat, filaments absent, anthers 0.5-1 mm long, free or coherent, thecae tapering toward base, apex rounded-truncate; ovary fusiform, 3-5 mm long, shortly stipitate, provided with 2 distinctly stalked glands at base, style 2-4 mm long. Capsule ellipsoid to globose, 4-7 mm long, septicidally dehiscent in middle only, margins thickened and rolling inwards; seeds filiform, 0.5-1 mm long.
Guianas present, Throughout the Neotropics present
Throughout the Neotropics; 81 collections studied from the Guianas (GU: 7; SU: 19; FG: 55).
In the southern part of French Guiana (Itoupé Mt.) material was found which is slightly differing from
V. tenella. These specimens (a.o. Tostain 5828) always have white flowers and the ellipsoid gland at the base of the ovary has a much longer stipe (stipe ca. 5 mm long, versus 1-2 mm in V. tenella).