Pittonia 1: 166. 1888.
Bulbs 1–3, increase bulbs absent or ± equaling parent bulbs, never appearing as basal cluster, not clustered on stout primary rhizome, ovoid to ± globose, 10–15 mm; outer coats enclosing 1 or more bulbs, brown, prominently cellular-reticulate, membranous, cells arranged in ± vertical rows, forming distinct herringbone pattern, transversely elongate, V-shaped, without fibers; inner coats white, cells obscure, arranged in vertical rows, forming distinct herringbone pattern, transversely elongate, V-shaped. Leaves persistent, withering from tip by anthesis, 3–6, basally sheathing, sheaths not extending much above soil surface; blade solid, subterete or ± channeled, arcuate to ± tortuous, 7–25 cm × 1–3 mm, margins entire. Scape persistent, solitary, erect, solid, terete, 10–30 cm × 2–3 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, compact, 5–30-flowered, conic to hemispheric, bulbils unknown; spathe bracts persistent, 2, 4–6-veined, broadly ovate, ± equal, apex abruptly acuminate. Flowers campanulate, 9–12 mm; tepals ± erect, deep reddish purple, ovate, unequal, inner shorter and narrower than outer, becoming rigid and ± carinate in fruit, margins entire or inner minutely denticulate, apex acute to obtuse, spreading to recurved at tips; stamens included; anthers yellow; pollen yellow; ovary crested; processes 3, central, 2-lobed, minute, margins entire; style linear, equaling stamens; stigma capitate, scarcely thickened, unlobed or minutely 3-lobed; pedicel 5–20 mm. Seed coat dull or shining; cells minutely roughened. 2n = 14.
Phenology: Flowering May–Jul.
Habitat: Dry, clay soils on or near sea cliffs
Elevation: 10–50 m