Caulescent, rhizomatous herb, to 6 m tall; stem flattened. Petioles mostly 40-60 cm long above vagination, the younger ones often with white waxy covering; blades oblong, short-acuminate at apex, broadly rounded to obtuse at base, 90-140 cm long, 20-30 cm broad. Inflorescence erect; peduncle stout, 15-50 cm long; bracts 6-12, usually pale red with greenish or yellowish margins, to 5 cm high at base, mostly 7-21 cm long, gradually long-acuminate, uniformly ascending, the lowermost often leafy; flowers 4-6 cm long, the tube white basally, greenish apically, curved toward apex; fertile stamens 5, exserted, equaling style. Fruits oblong, ca 1.5 cm long, blue, protruding on elongating, tubular, white pedicel at maturity. Croat 6970. Known only from the vicinity of the Laboratory Clearing. Flowers and fruits throughout the year, especially in the dry season. Stiles (1975) reported the species to flower only during the dry season in Costa Rica. Distinguished by the moderately short, erect, stout inflorescence with closely imbricating bracts. Although described in Flora Brasiliensis by Petersen, it is listed there as only from Panama. Probably pollinated by hummingbirds. Honduras to Panama; Trinidad. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Colón, San Blas, Chiriqui and Darién, from premontane wet forest in Coclé, and from tropical wet forest in Bocas del Toro (Rio Guarumo).
Bocas Species Database
Distribution: Isla Colón Characteristics: Hierba colonial de 1 a 2 m de alto, silvestre y cultivada a lo largo de la isla. Inflorescencia erecta, pedúnculo ceroso, ± 1 m de largo. Brácteas rojas con bordes verdes y amarillo. Flores verdes. Colonial herb 1 to 2 m high, wild and cultivated throughout the island. Inflorescence erect, waxy stem, ± 1 m long. Red bracts with green and yellow tips. Green flowers.