This tufted, evergreen, acaulescent (i.e. stemless) perennial herb is very well know around the world and is commonly used for cut flowers. The leaf and stalk are smooth and emerge from an underground rhizome. When the plant reaches 4 years old, it starts to flower. The beak-like orange and blue flowers have the appearance of a colourful mohawk. The flower produces ample nectar and is a food source for visiting sunbird and bees.