A species from Minas Gerais with a most enigmatic and seemingly unsuitable name. Anyone familiar with this plant would hardly say that it is compact in any way. A rather gangly species with leaves to 24 inches long that are semi-stiff and fairly heavily armed with stout marginal spines. The plant overall without a bloom may more closely bring to mind a Bromelia seedling of some type. The inflorescence is on a tall scape with long scape bracts framing a compact head of short branches with white flowers which was described as “densely compound” by Lyman Smith, and this is likely where the name ‘compactum’ comes from. The scape is floccose with white scales and the leaves are glabrous above and somewhat scurfy below. The color is green with a tendency to turn yellowish in bright light. Offsets are produced on long, slender stolons. Native to the area of the type locality of “Margem da Rodovia Nanuque – Teofilo Otoni, Serra Rochosa” in eastern Minas Gerais on rocky slopes.