Rhizomes horizontal, brownish, thick, praemorse, not brittle. Scapes 1-3, green or bronze-green, round in cross section, 1.7-4.4 dm, stout, glabrous. Bracts held horizontally, not drooping, tips at anthesis held well above ground, sessile; blade usually very strongly marked with at least 3 shades of dark green, bronze green, and purplish green, often with light central strip, mottling becoming obscure with age, ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, widest at ca. 1/3 of length from basal attachment, tapered very gradually to tip, 8-17+ × 4.9-8.5 cm, rounded basally, margins of distal 1/3 straight, apex acute. Flower faintly ill-scented; sepals divergent-ascending, streaked with green to maroon, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 36-68 × 12-21 mm, margins entire, flat or slightly raised adaxially, apex acute; petals long-lasting, erect, ± connivent, ± partially concealing stamens and ovary, maroon-purple, brownish purple to brown, greenish streaked to green, rarely yellow, becoming brown, or occasionally bright copper-bronze with age, not spirally twisted, veins not engraved, obovate to oblanceolate, large in proportion to leaf size compared to many species, 5-9 × 1-2 cm, 2+ times longer than wide, widest at or just above middle, thick-textured, margins entire, flat, apex acute, obtuse, or rounded; stamens erect or incurving, 12-24 mm; filaments yellow, 2-3 mm; anthers erect, straight, rarely arcuate, yellow, 10-15 mm, dehiscence latrorse; connectives straight, projecting 1-2 mm beyond anther sacs; ovary dark red, brown, or gray, ellipsoid, strongly 6-angled, 6-13 mm; stigmas basally erect, tips recoiled upon ovary, distinct, green, white, or purple, linear, short, 3-12 mm, slightly thickened basally, not fleshy. Fruits baccate, dark green to purple, odor not reported, ellipsoid, strongly grooved and ridged, pulpy or mealy. 2n = 10. Flowering winter--mid spring (late Jan--early Apr). Rich woods and bluffs in mixed deciduous forests of oak, red maple, beech, elm, and others; also thinner upland oak woods, in depressions and in ravines, low sandy-alluvial slopes to local rivers; 50--100 m; Ala., Fla., Ga.