Rhizomatous shrub to ca. 2 m tall; twigs terete to strongly angled with few scattered gland-headed hairs, otherwise glabrous to sparsely covered with unicellular hairs; buds ovoid to hemispheric, glabrous or with fringe of unicellular hairs along scale margins, the scales (2 or) 3 or 4, imbricate, apex rounded, acute, or slightly acuminate. Leaves alternate; blade coriaceous, elliptic to ovate or slightly obovate, 3.5-13 x 0.6-4 cm, the epidermis not lignified to slightly so, base cuneate to attenuate, apex slightly acuminate or acute to rounded, margin plane to conspicuously revolute (especially toward base), entire except for few clear to obscure teeth near apex, adaxial and abaxial surfaces with sparse gland-headed hairs, ± glabrescent, sparsely covered with unicellular hairs on adaxial surface of midvein; venation brochidodromous, tertiary veins slightly visible and reticulate; petiole 2-9 mm long. Inflorescences axillary racemes from 1 to several buds usually near apex of branch, ± horizontal; floral bract 1.5-3.5 mm long, linear to narrowly triangular; pedicel 2.5-7.5 mm long, with few gland-headed hairs, otherwise densely covered with unicellular hairs; bracteoles from lower 20 to upper 30% of pedicel, 1-2.5 mm long, similar to floral bract in shape. Flowers with elongate-triangular calyx lobes, acute at apex, 3-6.5 x 0.7-1.5 mm, green, adaxial surface densely covered with unicellular hairs, abaxial surface with few gland-headed hairs, otherwise sparsely to densely covered with unicellular hairs; corolla cylindrical-urceolate, weakly 5-ridged, white, 8-13 x 3-5 mm, glabrous on both adaxial and abaxial surfaces; stamens with filaments 4-5 mm long, straight to very slightly geniculate, covered with unicellular hairs, especially near base, with a pair of stout, minutely papillose, brown spurs to ca. 2 mm long at anther-filament junction; anther ± bilobed-ovoid, 1.6-2 mm long, obscurely papillose, brown, dehiscing by large, introrse-terminal, elliptic pores, with line of white disintegration tissue on back of each lobe; ovary subglobose to short-ovoid or ovoid, glabrous or with unicellular hairs; style glabrous, strongly impressed into apex of ovary. Capsules subglobose to short-ovoid or ovoid, 4-7 x 4.5-8 mm, glabrous or with very sparse unicellular hairs; placentae central to nearly basal; seeds angular-ovoid, 1.5-2 mm long, with testa composed of ± isodiametric cells.
Distribution. Endemic to W Cuba (Pinar del Río) and Isle of Pines (=Isle of Youth);. along banks of small streams (arroyos) or rivers. Flowering chiefly February to May.
Local name. Cuba: clavellina.