Small epiphytic or hemiepiphytic shrub, usually rather high in trees and pendent; stems brown, branched, 2-4 mm diam, sparsely strigose when young. Leaves of a pair subequal; petioles 2-6 mm long, strigose; blades ovate-lanceolate, acute, broadly cuneate at base, 2-3 cm long, 8-11 mm wide, thick, glabrous above, pale and strigose below; major lateral veins in 3 pairs. Flowers solitary; peduncles 5-10 mm long; pedicels 5-13 mm long, densely pilose, the trichomes long, white or pink, the bracts linear-lanceolate, 3-6 mm long; calyx 8-12 mm long, red, the lobes 5, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 5-8 mm long, white-sericeous outside, glabrous inside, denticulate, the teeth 1-4 on each side, glandular; corolla red, 5-7 cm long, slender, swollen and gibbous at base, sparsely hispid outside, 4-lobed, deeply divided on one side, the upper lobe rounded and apiculate at apex, to 1.5 cm long, the lateral lobes connate to upper lobe, the free parts to ca 8 mm long, acute, the lower lobe 1.2-1.8 cm long, somewhat deflexed; stamens 4, exserted; filaments red except white at base, nearly as long as and held against upper lobe of corolla; ovary superior, glabrous except at apex; style white, glabrous or sparsely glandular-pilose, equaling or slightly longer than stamens; stigma 1, bilobed; nectary of 1 large dorsal gland. Berries white, globose, ca 1.4 cm diam; seeds yellow, embedded in funicular pulp. Croat 10088. Occasional to frequent in the forest. Flowers sparingly all year, but especially in the rainy season. H. Wiehler (pers. comm.) reports a burst of flowering in October for cultivated plants in Panama. Distinguished by its epiphytic or hemiepiphytic habit and slender zygomorphic flowers. Ridley (1930) discussed the adaptation to ornithochory obvious in the white berry and contrasting red sepals. H. Wiehler (pers. comm.) suspects that Columnea arguta Mort., found in areas surrounding BCI, might also be found on the island.