This is a very widespread species that can be found from Mexico to Peru and across to Venezuela. A variable species which commonly grows on cliffs as a terrestrial, but can grow on rocks as a lithophyte, and in trees as an epiphyte. The plant has two dimorphic leaf forms, one a thin green blade which is deciduous and one which is a short, stiff, spiky leaf which looks more like a large spine.
When the plant goes dormant, the spiky leaves protect the bulbous base of the plant and flowers emerge on a very short scape before the new foliage appears. Flowers are typically red, occasionally white and sometimes pink. An easy to grow species that likes abundant moisture when growing, but much less in the dormant season.