Leaves many in a spreading rosette 7 cm long; sheaths large, dark brown; blades ligulate, to 7 cm wide, green and hairless above, marked with wavy purple transverse lines. Scape erect with finely purple spotted bracts. Inflorescence simple, over 40 cm long, finely spotted; floral bracts 3-4 cm long, shorter than sepals, yellowish, distichous; flowers on flower stalks to 13 mm long; sepals 27 mm long, green; petals green, purple toward tip; stamens included.
This plant is mainly grown from seed and there is great variability in the colour of the leaf blade from green to reddish-brown. Plants in this extreme range are known as 'Red Chestnut' but do not come true from seed.
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.