This species is characterized by its entire to bilobed stipules that are generally deciduous through fragmentation and its capitate inflorescences with well developed bracts. The pyrenes are unusual in having, apparently, two adaxial longitudinal air chambers in the pyrene wall. This species was included by Steyermark in his study of northeastern South American Psychotria within the circumscription of Psychotria ligularis, as a variety of that species. However Delprete showed that these varieties are morphologically quite different and better treated as two species, this and Carapichea ligularis. Some plants from Brazil have notably narrow and acute involucral bracts, but very little material is available and their status cannot currently be evaluated.