Erect herb to 3 ft. high. with stout stem
Biennial or perennial rosette herb with tuberous root.
Inflorescence a terminal, repeatedly dichotomous, usually rather dense flat-topped corymbose cyme with foliaceous bracts, rarely with axillary inflorescences in the axils of the upper leaves; pedicels up to 15 mm. long, glabrous or nearly so.
Rosette leaves usually disappearing by anthesis, linear-lanceolate, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, up to 16(–20) cm. long, 0.5–2.5 cm. wide, apex attenuate-acute, bases of opposite leaves united to form a sheath around the stem up to 1(–1.5) cm. long, usually glabrous above, papillose-pubescent becoming glabrescent or glabrous beneath, margins entire, papillose ciliate; cauline leaves similar, blades, sheaths and internodes shortening towards the apex.
Stems annual, dying back after flowering, erect, usually simple, up to 60(–90) cm. high, terete, 2–5(–20) mm. in diameter, papillose pubescent, rarely glabrous; papillae retrorse appressed, whitish, elongate or short.
Petals white or greenish white or bright to deep red, oblong, (3–)3.5–8 mm. long, (1.2–)1.5–2(–2.5) mm. wide, obtuse to subacute, thickened and mucronate, margins entire, glabrous and minutely papillose-ciliate.
Stamen-filaments (2–)2.5–3(–5) mm. long; anthers oblong, 0.5–0.8 mm. long.
Calyx-lobes lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 2.5–4(–6.5) mm. long, 1–1.3 mm. wide, acute, margins with few-many ± contiguous papillae (papillae larger than in C. vaginata).
Seeds 8–30 per carpel, broadly oblong, ± 0.5 mm. long, ± 0.3 mm. wide, minutely longitudinally rugulose (indistinguishable from those of C. vaginata).
Nectary scales rectangular to almost square, ± 0.5 mm. high, truncate.
Carpels oblong, (2.7–)3.5–5.5 mm. long, narrowing into styles about one-quarter the length of the ovaries, indistinctly papillose-ciliate or glabrous along the suture.
Filaments (2)2·5-3(3·5) mm. long; anthers (0·5)-0·75(1) mm. long, rectangular.
Follicles (2·75)3-5-5·5 mm. long including the styles.
Corolla (4·5)5·7 mm. long; petals 1·25-2 mm. broad, oblong, obtuse or subacute, erect but with ± reflexed or spreading tips, mucronate below the slightly inflexed apex, sometimes minutely scabrid outside towards the apex, white, greenish-white flushed with pink or bright to deep red.
Scales ± 0·5 mm. long, rectangular or subquadrate, truncate.
A perennial or biennial succulent herb up to 90 cm. high with a tuberous root producing one to many flowering stems, surrounded at base by dense rosulate leaves which usually disappear at anthesis.
Rosette-leaves up to 16(20) x 2·5 cm., oblong-lanceolate or lanceolate, attenuate towards the acute apex, entire and ciliate or pectinate-ciliate at the margin (the cilia usually nearly contiguous, acute), sessile and connate at the base, flat, fleshy but not very thick, usually glabrous, sometimes papillose-pilose, green, sometimes with purple marks or ± purple beneath, deflexed; cauline leaves similar to the basal ones but usually smaller, the lower longer than the internodes, the upper successively shorter, becoming erect and ± clasping the stem, the upper cauline leaves sometimes ovate-lanceolate or elliptic-oblong, sometimes nearly bract-like; sheaths of lower cauline leaves 0·2-0·8(1·2) cm. long, those of the upper ones very short.
Stem ± stout, erect, terete, simple, fleshy, from base to apex ± covered all around with retrose, appressed, whitish, ± long hair-like papillae (or papillae short, obtuse or acute, sometimes nearly bulliform), rarely glabrous, fleshy, green or reddish-purple.
Calyx (2·5)3-5·5(6·5) mm. long, usually longer than 5 corolla to equalling it; sepals 1-1·25 mm. broad, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, very attenuate, ± acute, Sérrulate or denticulate to ciliate-pectinate at the margins (cilia acute, ± rigid), or entire, green or reddish-purple.