Rhizomes globose. Leaves erect-arching, succulent, 14-45 × 1-2.7(-3.9 in cultivated specimens) cm; blade sometimes spotted with elongate brown or green markings, sometimes glaucous, deeply channeled, linear-lanceolate, margins usually with small, distantly spaced teeth. Scape 4.7-10.8 dm (-13.3 in cultivation). Inflorescences lax, (0.75-)1.4-2.9 dm (-4.8 dm in cultivation), bearing 7-41 distantly spaced flowers. Flowers sessile, spreading, with cooked onion odor; tepals green or mahogany brown; perianth tube broadly funnelform-campanulate, 0.6-1.6 cm; limb lobes recurved, yellowish green or brownish, (0.6-)0.9-1.6 cm; filaments wide-spreading at maturity, bent near middle in bud, exceeding tube by 3-6.5(-8.2) cm; ovary 9-19 mm; style ± equal to stamens; stigma pale green or brownish, clavate-triangular, 3-angled, furrowed apically, lobes not reflexed. Capsules globose to cylindrical, 1.6-1.8(-2.5) × 1.3-1.6 cm. Flowering Feb--Jun; flowering period of inflorescences extending up to 40 days; fruiting early summer--mid fall, ca. 75 days after flowering begins. Dry chaparral or moist situations, on rocky slopes, open or dense oak woods in Mexico; 0--2000 m; Tex.; Mexico (Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, and s along e Sierra Madre Oriental to Veracruz, Yucatán). Manfreda variegata is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental (S. E. Verhoek 1978).