Cespitose, hard-based, often bulbous, perennial, 25-40 cm high, stem short. Leaves 15-30 cm, often nearly as long as scapes, ascending or slightly spreading sheath strongly ciliate, firm, rugose, red to purple or castaneous, eligulate, blade flattened, 2-4 mm wide, margins mostly pale, incrassate, ciliate or scabro-ciliate, rarely papillose, surface mostly rugulose, strongly veined. Scapes distally flattened, 2-3 mm wide, with strong ribs forming edges, these pale-pilose-ciliate or scabrid; spikes ovoid to subglobose, becoming turbinate, 0.8-1 cm, brown to red-brown, with many stiff bracts in a spiral, empty ones several, lowest very small grading into the flowering ones, these oblong to obovate, 6-8 mm, slightly carinate, obtuse angled or rounded, dorsal area large, often venose, in lower ones frequently white-pilose. Lateral sepals free, subequilateral to inequilateral, narrow, 5-7 mm, curved, keel firm, lacerate, villosulous or ciliolate from middle to tip; petals broadly obovate, 5-6 mm; staminodes bearded; anthers ca. 2 mm. Capsule 4-5 mm, placentation basally axile, valves with strong septa; seeds few, cylindric-fusiform, ca. 1 mm, pale amber.
S Venezuela present, SE Colombia present, Suriname present, contiguous Amazonian Brazil present
SE Colombia eastward through S Venezuela to Suriname and S into contiguous Amazonian Brazil.