Leaves to 1.5 m long, 1.5 cm wide; green, channelled; margins sometimes with short spines. Scape 30-60 cm; floral bracts small, not covering the ovaries, toothed or entire. Flowers with violet petals. Fruit held erect on the stout scape, large, succulent.
Several cultivars and forms are grown. Commercial cultivars include 'Smooth Cayenne' which has entire leaves and bracts and 'Rough Cayenne' which has toothed leaves and bracts, smaller fruit.
var. variegatus (Lowe) Moldenke Leaves variegated in green, pink and white.
Source: (2005). Bromeliaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.