Not to be confused with another Cardinal's guard (Odontonema strictum), Pachystachys coccinea is native to tropical South America and the West Indies. The spiked flowers are lipped and red. It is an evergreen plant with simple leaves. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems. They are dark green and ovate with entire margins. The plant form is shrub.
Growing opportunistically in a garden in the equatorial tropics of northern New Guinea.