Caulescent, rhizomatous herb, 3-6 m tall; stem flattened, to 12 cm broad and 4-6 cm thick. Petioles 50-100 cm long above the sheath; blades elliptic, blunt and cuspidate at apex, slightly lobed to rounded at base, to 2 m or more long and 60 cm wide (sometimes smaller on lower part of plant); veins 8-20 cm apart. Inflorescence glabrous or minutely pubescent, pendent on stout peduncle 50 cm or more long, with about 40 cm of peduncle exposed, the fertile part 20-80 cm long, 10-13 cm wide, tapering only slightly to apex; bracts 20-70, red, distichous, all but the lowermost closely imbricated and 3.5-8 cm long, broadest in the middle, acute to acuminate at apex; flowers only slightly protruding from bracts, white at base, reddish at apex, 2.5-4 cm long; ovary white, becoming lavender to blue. Fruits oblong, ca 1.5 cm wide and 9 mm wide, 3-angled, bright blue, exserted on a fleshy white peduncle, 3-seeded; seeds oblong, 8-10 cm long, 3-4 mm wide, covered with a fleshy white matrix. Croat 8689. Known only from the vicinity of the Laboratory Clearing, usually at the edge of the forest and along Creek # 8. Probably flowering and fruiting throughout the year, but new inflorescences begin to open in the middle to late rainy season. Some flowers and mature fruits are generally present on the same inflorescence. Belize to Panama and northern South America. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone (Atlantic slope), Bocas del Toro, Colón, and Darien. See Fig. 146.