Shrubs with many erect branches, 1-1.5 m tall; young stems densely pubescent with dendritic trichomes, these persistent,; leaf scars very prominent, the stems trongly winged from the decurrent leaf bases; bark of older stems grey-brown, sparsely pubescent with dendritic trichomes. New growth purplish, glabrous except for a few dendritic trichomes on the revolute leaf margins.
Sympodial units plurifoliate, branching dichasial, the branches and branchlets erect and densely packed.
Leaves narrowly elliptic, shiny, fleshy and coriaceous, the margins strongly revolute, 0.9-2.3 cm x 0.2-0.7 cm, the secondary venation obscure, both surfaces glabrous except for a few dendritic trichomes on the revolute margins and on the midvein of the adaxial surface; petiole very short to absent, usually 1-2 mm.
Inflorescences terminal, appearing lateral from overtopping shoot growth, the axis completely glabrous and shiny, compact and more or less globose, 0.2-1 cm long, branching 2-4 times, with 2-5 flowers. Pedicels inserted in a prominent sleeve 1-1.5 mm long, glabrous, 0.45-0.5 cm long, deflexed and nodding at anthesis, tapering from a basal diameter of 0.5 mm to an apical diameter of ca. 1 mm. Buds globose, later elliptic, the corolla strongly exserted from the calyx tube.
Flowers with the calyx tube conical, ca. 0.5 mm long, lobes broadly deltate, ca. 0.5 mm long, glabrous on both surfaces with a few simple trichomes on the margins of the lobes; corolla violet, 1.4-1.7 cm in diameter, lobed 1/2 way to the base, the lobes cupulate at anthesis, densely pubescent abaxially with dendritic trichomes, the flowers apparently nodding at anthesis; stamens with the anthers ca. 2 mm long, 0.5-1.5 m wide, poricidal at the tips, the pores becoming slit-like with age, free portion of the filaments ca. 1 mm long, glabrous, the filament tube absent; ovary glabrous or occasionally with a few scattered dendritic trichomes near the apex; style ca. 6 mm long, more or less densely pubescent with dendritic trichomes near the middle; stigma obscurely bi-lobed.
Fruit a globose and slightly pointed apically, purplish-black berry, fleshy with thin pericarp, 6-9 mm in diameter; fruiting pedicels deflexed, woody, ca. 6 mm long, ca. 0.5 mm in diameter at he base.
Seeds pale reddish-brown, flattened lenticular, ca. 8 per fruit, ca. 5 mm x 3 mm, the surfaces minutely pitted.
Boulder fields and among rocks in moist puna from S Peru to N Bolivia, 3800-4600 m.