Coarse, smooth, perennials 0.5-2 m high; stems either short, stout, producing dense basal rosettes, or lax, decumbent, elongate and cloaked by higher, looser spirals of leaves. Leaves polystichous, narrowly panduriform, 5-40 cm, firm, bases dilated, clasping with a broad, maroon or red-brown patch, blades variably linear, lingulate to flat, finely multiveined, apically sharply subulate, margins thin, entire aging lacerate. Scapes 1-several from axils of upper leaves, fistulose, terete, 0.2-2 m, to 2 cm thick at base; spikes burr-like, multiflorous, hemispheric to broadly turbinate or globose, 5-10 cm broad across spreading sepal tips; outer bracts in 1(-2) whorls of 3, often empty, floral bracts much shorter than sepals, ovate to broadly lanceolate. Sepals 3, subequal, lanciform-navicular, acuminate, the laterals with broad curved keel, the third thinner and without keel; petals connate, unequal, forming a spreading-excurved, yellow (rarely reddish), two-lipped corolla to 6 cm long, limb about as long as excurved tube and throat, trilobed, upper lobe largest, broadest, forming a hood, the lower 2spreading outward, forward, slightly down and forming the lower lip; staminodes none; stamens 3, adnate to upper corolla tube, filaments longer than anthers, anthers ca. 1 cm long; placentation axile, style elongate, apically curved, with terminal, patelliform, papillose, later fimbriolate, stigma, stylar appendages linear, firm, doubled back to form an inverted "U", arising from ovary summit around style base and 2-2.4 cm long. Capsule ovoid to obovoid, trilobed, 1.5-2 cm, valves thick, tips shallowly bilobed; seeds numerous, irregularly curvate-triangular, 2-4 mm, edged with a broad wing around embryo, 1 edge forming a narrow, ascending thumb-like lobe, surface finely curved-striate, lustrous brown.
S Venezuela present, SW Guyana present, Southern America: Brazil North (Amazonas present, Roraima present), contiguous highland Brazil present
S Venezuela from Amazonas E into SW Guyana and in contiguous highland Brazil on the Roraima sandstones, usually in boggy pockets amongst rocks and in full sun, at medium to high elevations, 500-2700 m.