Description from Flora of China
Herbs white when fresh, fleshy, becoming black when dry, usually glabrous. Inflorescence erect, scapose, 1-flowered, 10–30 cm tall, 1.5–2 mm in diam. below flower, emerging from soil in nodding position. Inflorescence bracts scale-form, below soil level shorter and thicker and more densely crowded than upper bracts. Inflorescence bracts above soil level thin, ± erect,
ovate to oblong, 1–2 cm × 4–8 mm, sessile, usually glabrous, margin entire or erose to irregularly toothed, apex acuminate. Flowers nodding at anthesis, tubular-campanulate. Bracts not distinguishable from upper inflorescence bracts. Sepals 3–5, scalelike, lanceolate to oblong, 1–1.5 cm × 3–5 mm, mostly glabrous, margin irregularly toothed, apex acute to acuminate. Petals 3–8, obovate-oblong, 1.2–2.2 cm × 4–8 mm, fleshy, abaxially glabrous, adaxially usually pubescent, base saccate, margin entire, irregularly denticulate or erose in upper part, apex rounded. Stamens usually 10; filaments 1–1.5 cm, pubescent; anthers yellowish, short, appearing peltate, to 2 mm in diam.; sacs connate, opening by a distal slit. Ovary essentially glabrous, grooved along sides where capsule segments separate; placenta axile; style 2–3 mm, shorter than ovary, thick, articulation between style and ovary conspicuous; stigma yellow-brown, ca. 4 mm in diam., funnelform, glabrous. Nectary at base of ovary usually with 10 paired lobes directed downward between staminal bases. Capsules erect, ellipsoid-globose, 1–1.5 cm. Old spent axes remaining erect throughout season. Fl. (Aug–)Sep–Oct(–Nov), fr. Oct–Nov.
Damp deciduous or mixed forests; 100–1500 m. Anhui, Gansu, Guizhou, Hubei, Jiangxi, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Japan, Korea, ?Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim ; North, Central, and N South America].