Tuber hemispherical, 8–11 cm diam., 6.5 cm thick, flat above, rounded and whitish to brownish below, 4–30 cm below ground level. Tubercles few, rounded or cylindrically elongated, 0.5–1 cm diam., 1–2.3 cm long, borne around the periphery of tuber. Roots whitish, 2–4 mm diam. Cataphylls 3–5, 5–45 cm long, 3–5 cm wide, dark brown or pinkish, 5–15 cm long above ground. Leaf solitary. Petiole 1.4–3 m long above ground, 2–4.5 cm diam. at mid-point, dark green or brownish green, contrastingly mottled with dirty-white or pale green blotches and forming a reptilian pattern, usually smooth in upper half and with irregular protuberances in lower half. Juvenile blade sagittate, or sagittately lobed. Adult blade spreading horizontally, 1–1.5 m diam., thinly coriaceous, rarely fenestrate, never variegated, without raphide cells or dark markings with abundant raphide cells, semiglossy and dark green above matte and medium green above, semiglossy and medium green below or matte and medium green below; middle division twice trichotomously branched, 0.8–1 cm long, 0.5–0.8 cm wide, with terminal subdivision consisting of three sections, with each basal subdivision consisting of many segments; lateral divisions twice dichotomously branched, 0.8–0.95 cm long, 0.5–0.8 cm wide, with terminal subdivision consisting of two sections, with basal subdivision consisting of many segments; terminal and subterminal sections confluent, each consisting of many segments; broadly oblanceolate, more than 5 cm wide on each side of the major ribs, oblanceolate, mostly confluent with each other in each division or at least some of the basal segments not confluent with each other, often with contrastingly smaller rounded or triangular segments alternating with larger segments; apices acuminate, or acute (rarely); ultimate segments 20 cm long, confluent with penultimate segments; other segments 3.5–15 cm long; penultimate segments confluent with the subterminal sections; medial segments confluent with the basal subdivisions; basal segments present, free from each other or confluent with each other (rarely); rachises patterned similar to petiole but in much paler shades, with irregular protuberances; tertiary veins prominent above and conspicuous above. Bracteoles 3–4, 20 cm long, 2–4 cm wide, light brown or dark brown, the longest one much shorter than the peduncle, confined at the base of the peduncle. Inflorescence solitary, appearing before new leaf. Peduncle 80–120 cm long above ground, 1.3–3.5 cm diam. at mid-point, more than half as long as the petiole, mottled similar to petiole but deeper in color, brownish green, with irregular protuberances in lower half and spiny projections. Spathe 23–50 cm long, 8–15 cm wide, cymbiform, cucullate, erect or slightly arching, apex obtuse; inner surface velvety, maroon and solid greenish white (4–6 cm along the margin), with translucent area obvious, 3–7 cm high, 1.5–3 time longer than spadix; outer surface dark yellowish green, matte; margins entire, broadly overlapping in the lower two-thirds; veins obscure inside, conspicuously darker or paler than the spathe, purple and pale green (on lower half). Spadix hidden, sessile, cylindrical, narrower at apex, purple, 1.8–6.5 cm long, 0.7–1.5 cm diam. at anthesis, never with appendages at apex. Flower tepals (6-)7–8(-9), 1.8–2.2 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, brownish purple or dark purple. Stamens 6–9; filaments 1.5–2 mm long; anthers 1–1.5 mm long, hidden or slightly exserted. Ovary bilocular, pale green; stigma 2-lobed, or 3-lobed (rarely); style 1–1.2 mm long above tepals, purple, persistent. Infructescence with spadix 6–12 cm long, 3.4–5 cm diam. in fruit. Berries 1–1.8 cm diam., globose, apically rounded; young berry light green; mature berry orange, with or without some reddish dots or raphide cells. Seeds 2-seeded, 0.8–1 cm diam., rounded, reddish brown, laterally depressed; dorsal ridges obvious, more than 3, strongly interrupted, monomorphic, more than 1 mm thick, 1–2 mm high, smooth on both sides.
TYPE: Cultivated plant in Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO; originally collected by Croat (72368) along unfinished road between Lita and San Lorenzo, 15.5 km W of Lita, 705 m, 0°55'N, 78°28'W, San Lorenzo Canton, Esmeraldas, Ecuador, Zhu 1493 (holotype, MO).
Esmeraldas: along unfinished road between Lita and San Lorenzo, 15.5 km W of Lita. 705 m, 0°55'N, 78°28'W, Croat 72368 (MO), Zhu 1493 (MO). Carchi: Forestry Reserve, vicinity of encampment in Awá Ethnic Reserve, 0°58'N, 78°16'W, 1330 m, Hoover et al. 3279 (MO,QCA); trail from San Marcos to Tobar Donoso, 660 m, 1°07'N, 78°20'W, Barfod 41597 (AAU, MO, QCA). Pichincha: bridge over Río Chiguilpe near junction with Río Baba, 7 km from junction of entrance road at 7 km from Santo Domingo on highway to Quevedo, 450 m, Dodson 5951 (SEL); La Centinela, at crest of Montañas de Ila on road 12 km from Patricia Pilar to 24 de Mayo, 600 m, Dodson 7288 (MO, SEL), Dodson & Fallen 7762 (MO, QCNE, SEL); La Centinela, 0.2 km past Escuela Mixta La Centinela, along trail to left of road, exactly 13 km E from main Santo DomingoQuevedo Highway in Patricia Pilar, 1000 m, 0°32'S, 79°11'W, Croat 73040 (MO). Cultivated Plants. Dewey Fisk, Florida, originally from Ecuador, Zhu 1508 (MO); Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (75-461, vouchered by Dodson 5951), Christenson 1576 (SEL), Croat 71798 (MO), Madison 4140 (SEL); Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (78-2173, vouchered by Dodson 7288), Christenson 1154 (SEL),Croat 71798 (MO), Plowman 10926 (F); Missouri Botanical Garden (vouchered by Croat 72368), Zhu 1459, 1518 (MO); Missouri Botanical Garden (received from the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 78-2173, vouchered by Dodson 7288), Zhu 1453, 1495 (MO).