Shrub or treelet, 3-7 m tall. Stem sparsely pubescent to glabrescent; upper internodes rather slender. Prophyll to 2.5 cm long, pubescent at least on primary vein. Leaves somewhat glandular-dotted; petiole 0.3-0.8 cm long, pubescent, vaginate near base; blade scabrous, yellow-green, lanceolate or lanceolate-oblong or elliptic-ovate, 12-24 x 3-8 cm, apex acuminate, base unequally attached to petiole 0.3-0.4 cm, rounded to subcordate, sparsely pubescent at least on veins above or glabrescent, sparsely pubescent or glabrescent below, somewhat rugulose; pinnately veined, secondary veins 6-8 per side, arising from 1/2 to 3/4 of primary vein, sharply ascending, impressed above, prominent below, tertiary veins parallel between secondaries, minor veins reticulate. Inflorescence recurved; peduncle 0.7-1.2(-2.5) cm long, sparsely pubescent; spike 8-15 cm long, white to green, apiculate; flowers densely arranged in rings or spirals; floral bracts densely marginally fringed; stamens with broad connective. Infructescence recurved; fruits obovoid, trigonous or somewhat tetragonous, 0.7-0.8 mm in diam., glabrous or glabrescent, glandular, stigmas 3, sessile.
Throughout the range of the family in the Neotropics; over 100 collections studied (GU: 33; SU: 38; FG: 35).
English (French Guiana): ga(an) man udu (ana), watnle; English (Guyana, Republic of): bushi man lembelembe