Characteristic of this species are the leafy tufts at the apices of the racemes. These bend down to earth because of their weight and take root. In this way they multiply very rapidly and cover vast stretches in the undergrowth of the eastern Cape forests. The plants however do not always produce these leafy rosettes. Those seen from the northern Transvaal never had them.
Seeds saucer-shaped, slightly folded, 2–3 mm. in diameter.
A variable complex of plants with ± lax leaves and peduncles, sometimes drying blackish.
Rhizome short, vertical or sometimes horizontal with elongated internodes; roots ± spongy, often with spindle-shaped tubers.
Leaves rosulate, petiolate or not, lanceolate to strap-shaped, usually glabrous, 10–60(–100) cm. long, 1–3(–4) cm. wide, sometimes with scabrid margin.
Peduncles often more than one to a plant, 5–20(–50) cm. long, erect to ± drooping, glabrous to scabrid, with a few sterile bracts just below the inflorescence.
Pedicels articulated in upper half, 4–10 mm. long, slightly reflexed during anthesis, erect in fruit, 2–4-nate at the lower nodes.
Small plantlets often produced from the bracts of the inflorescence (pseudovivipary).
Inflorescence 10–50(–75 cm.), usually simple, sometimes ± paniculate; rhachis sometimes somewhat scabrid, internode elongation varies considerably giving dense to extremely lax inflorescences; floral bracts 5–20 mm., acute to acuminate.
Capsule triquetrous to deltate, emarginate, usually somewhat broader than long, 4–9 mm. long, 5–9(–11) mm. wide.
Style straight, as long as the stamens.
Stamens exserted; filaments fusiform, dilated above the middle, scabrid to papillose, 3–5 mm. long, longer than the 1–2.5 mm. long, versatile anthers.
Perianth slightly urceolate, whitish, often keeled greenish outside and apically; tepals patent to somewhat reflexed at anthesis, 4–7 mm. long, 2–3 mm. wide, 3-veined, with scabrid margins.
Perennial herb, up to 0.8 m high. Leaves lanceolate, attenuate towards base. Inflorescence a simple raceme, often with a leafy apical tuft. Capsule smooth, globose. Flowers white.
Rhizomatous geophyte to 80 cm, roots swollen toward tips. Leaves soft, channelled. Flowers in long, few-branched racemes often with leafy tufts at nodes, white, filaments smooth. Capsules 3-winged, pedicels articulated near the middle.
Plants up to 80 cm high. Roots long, many, swollen near the tips. Rhizome small, vertical. Leaves variable, 10-30 cm long, 1-2 cm broad, tapering at the base and apex, soft, usually flat, arranged in a loose rosette. Inflorescence much longer than the leaves, a simple long, lax raceme, sometimes with 1-2 basal ascending branches; often the apical flowers suppressed and the bracts enlarged to form a leafy tuft; scape long, terete, bracteate; sterile bracts narrow lanceolate, 2-4 cm long, acuminate, fertile small, deltoid, subulate; pedicels thin, up to 8 mm in fruit, articulated near the middle. Flowers in small, spiral, bracteate, axillary fascicles, 1-6 nate; perianth with narrow segments, 1 cm long, sometimes reflexed; filaments glabrous, slightly swollen above the middle, shrinking unevenly when dry; ovary with ca. 6 ovules per cell. Capsule globose in outline, emarginate, 5 mm in length. Seeds typical, slightly convex on one side. Flowering Period: During the summer months.
Forested kloofs, high montane forest scrub, forest floors.