An impressive large growing plant from the area of Yosondua, Oaxaca, Mexico where it grows terrestrially on exposed rock. It rarely produces roots, but tends to grow in dense clusters, supporting one another or leaning on rocks for support. Superficially, it resembles a giant capitata, with many strappy leaves, gracefully recurving in a 24 to 30 inch silvery rosette.
The inflorescence is quite tall with a capitate head of long bracts and tight branches. In nature the inflorescence is red, hence the name, which means literally 'red head'. However, under our hot, humid, shaded conditions the colors are usually more subdued. This species is rare in cultivation.