Large herb, 2.5-4 m tall. Leaves distichous, oblongelliptic, acute or weakly acuminate at apex, decurrent at base onto obscure petiole, to 84 cm long and 19 cm wide (mostly less), the sheath and ligule slightly longer than base of petiole. Inflorescence scapose, arising from rhizome near base of stems, 2-45 cm tall, the base enveloped with imbricate bracts, these 1-10 cm long and deciduous; flowers red, to 2.7 cm long, weakly pubescent, arranged in short panicles to ca 5 cm long; calyx thin, trilobite in upper third, the lobes narrowly acute; corolla trilobate, the lobes rounded, +/- cucullate; labellum scarcely exceeding corolla, pale yellow, with 4 short lobes at apex, the inner pair of lobes often acute, the outer pair round; stamen solitary, thick, shorter than corolla; apex of style much thickened. Capsules 3-locular, +/- ellipsoid, to 3.5 cm long and 2 cm wide, red, drying with many closely spaced, prominent, longitudinal striations; valves fleshy, 3 mm thick; seeds many, white, 3-4 mm long, bearing a long, sticky, arillate appendage at base. Croat 6483.