A perennial shrub that grows up to 2.5m with broad leaves, hollow stems and hairy purple flowers. Flowering in autumn and naturally occurs in margins of subtropical forests in KwaZulu Natal (RSA). Grows best in semi-shade, well-drained, moist, humus-rich soils. It has tuberous roots which make it drought tolerant. A shade plant for a subtropical garden or in a sheltered spot in other gardens.