Erect herb to 2 m, annual from a fleshy tuber, leaves and flowers produced together during the rainy season. Rhizome cylindric, tough, produced at apex of previous season’s, with a narrower rhizomatous branch bearing the new tuber; tuber ovoid to globose, sometimes flattened or irregular, up to 4(10) cm in diameter. Indumentum restricted to small, flattened translucent projections on veins of leaf lower surface and capitate glandular hairs on the style base. Leaves usually 1–3 per plant; petiole to 1.3(1.8) m long, erect, terete, longitudinally ridged, usually solid, narrowing towards apex; blade trifid, compound, to c.90 × 60 cm, thin and stiff, with three leaflets to 40 cm long, pinnately divided into lobes, sometimes also palmately branched, lobes variable, often dimorphic in appearance and/or larger towards rachis apex, margins entire or with shallow, rounded lobes; cataphylls 2 or 3 inserted on rhizome, erect, clasping petiole and scape bases, 4–21 × 0.8–3 cm, ovate-acuminate to very narrowly oblong, membranous when dry. Inflorescences 1(2) per plant, scape erect, 30–170 × 0.3–1.5(3) cm, hollow, longitudinally ridged, umbelliform; inflorescence bracts 4–8, forming an involucre with floral buds, erect to spreading at anthesis, shape and size variable but not dimorphic, 8–30(44) × 7–29 mm, oblanceolate or obovate to ovate, elliptic, narrowly elliptic or lanceolate, green with purple margins and apices, sometimes more extensively pigmented, persistent; floral bracts numerous, to 250 × c.1 mm, filiform, pendent, usually dark purple, paler to white towards apex, partially persistent. Flowers 10–40, pale green to white, yellowish or brown, usually with variably distributed purple pigmentation, pedicels 9–25 × c. 1 mm (larger in fruit); Tepals differentiated into 2 whorls of 3 (outer narrower), thick and fleshy, fused at base and forming a 3–4 mm deep bowl-shaped torus. Filaments 2–2.8 × 2–3 mm, anthers dorsifixed, partially surrounded by a 1–2.6 × 0.8–2.7 mm broadly oblong to broadly oval hood. Ovary obconic to obovoid with 6 longitudinal ridges; style erect, 1.7–2.3 mm long, base expanded and conical. Fruit berry-like, 20– 30 × 17–29 mm, pendent, only 2–7 flowers per umbel developing, globose to ovoid, green but becoming orange at maturity, dark brown when dry, base usually rounded. Seeds many, 4–6.2 × (2.5)2.9–3.9 mm, ovoid to ellipsoid, sometimes longitudinally flattened, longitudinally striate, red-brown when dry, surrounded by a thin fleshy aril not visible when dry.