Stems reddish purple to dark purple near base, ascending to weakly erect from a short repent base, 10-20(-30) cm long, ca. 5-7 mm in diameter at base, usually dichotomously or verticillately branched above middle, internodes 2-5(-7) cm long, strigillose (hairs 0.2-0.5 mm long) or sometimes hirtellous, older stems glabrate.
Leaves 2-6 per node, upper surface dark green or sometimes dark purplish green, lower surface red to dark red or sometimes pale green, or only veins pale green, alternate in very young plants, thick and firm-fleshy, drying chartaceous to coriaceous, rhombic-obovate to obovate, elliptic-obovate, or suborbicular, 1.5-3.5(-4) cm long, 1-2 cm wide, palmately 3-nerved or sometimes 5-nerved and the outermost pair inconspicuous, veins usually pale and thus visible, but only very slightly impressed, upper surface glabrous except strigillose near margins, lower surface evenly strigillose, margins flat, ciliate, apex rounded to obtuse, base broadly cuneate, petioles 0.5-1 cm long, strigillose or occasionally hirtellous.
Spikes usually solitary, terminal, sometimes also a few lateral, (3-)3.5-7 cm long, the rachis ca. 1.5-2 mm in diameter, glabrous, flowers moderately to densely congested, peduncles (2.3-)2.5-6 cm long, sparsely strigillose; ovary ovoid, apex oblique; stigmas subterminal.