A robust terrestrial herb 13-35 cm tall, with a short creeping rhizome. Stem erect, glabrous, leafy along length. Leaves six, the lowermost three reduced to sheaths around the base of the stem, uppermost round to elliptic-ovate, obtuse to acute, 7-15 cm long, 3.3-7.2 cm wide, ciliate, glabrous on both surfaces except towards the tips. Inflorescence one-flowered, produced usually before the leaves have fully developed; bract overtopping the flower, elliptic, ovate or lanceolate, acute or acuminate, 5-10.5 cm long. Flower nodding, purple or dark maroon, usually with a darker lip with a white-margined rim to the mouth and darker marked veins on the sepals and petals, flower drying black or very dark maroon; pedicel and ovary glabrous or rarely slightly pubescent or papillose towards the apex, 2-3.2 cm long. Dorsal sepal ovate-elliptic, acuminate to shortly mucronate, 3-5.2 cm long, 2.2-3 cm wide, sparsely ciliate. Synsepal elliptic-ovate or oblong-elliptic, bifid at tip, 3-3.5 cm long, 1.8-2 cm wide, sparsely ciliate towards apex. Petals incurved-porrect to subspreading and decurved, lanceolate to oblong- lanceolate, acuminate to acute, 3.6-6 cm long, 1.4-2.5 cm wide, sparsely ciliate, densely pubescent at the base on the inner surface. Lip deeply ventricose, usually broader than deep, 3.5-6 cm long and wide, the margins of the circular to elliptic mouth crimped all round, the outer surface usually wrinkled, hairy within. Column short; staminode subsessile, cordate-trullate, 1.5-2 cm long, 0.8-1.2 cm wide, more or less flat but somewhat concave at the blunt tip, glabrous.