Erect, parasitic shrub; stems terete, usually less than 60 cm long; periderm rufous, scaly. Leaves glabrous; petioles lacking or to 5 mm long; blades ovate (may be lanceolate when young), acute to rounded at apex, +/- obtuse at base and decurrent on petiole but not clasping stem, 7-11 cm long, 2-7 cm wide, coriaceous, shiny, green (bronze when young), drying chestnut and green, the veins purple. Spikes axillary, usually 2 or 3 per axil, conelike, to 3 cm long; peduncles rufous, 5-10 mm long; rachis to 2 mm wide (rarely to 3 mm), green, glabrous; flowers bisexual, sunken in rachis, perpendicular to the rachis and arranged in 4 rows; margins of the bracteoles distinct from the rachis; tepals 6, dimorphic, green, acute at apex, ca 1.2 mm long; stamens 6, each fused to lower part of tepal; filaments red; anthers dimorphic, both types at or above middle of tepal, each with 4 locules or with 2 locules, or both these types alternating, then the 4-celled anthers lower than the 2-celled anthers, the connective extending above thecae; style simple; stigma capitate, held at about the level of the anthers; nectariferous disk surrounding style at base (Kuijt,1976). Fruits cylindrical, to 4 mm long and 2 mm wide, yellow- and green-striped, drying dark; seed 1, ellipsoid, ca 1 mm long, brown. Croat 6443. Costa Rica to Ecuador, Venezuela, the Guianas, Brazil, and Peru; Jamaica. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Colón, Chiriqui, Panama, and Darién, and from premontane wet forest in Bocas del Toro, Coclé, and Panama.