Plant stemless, flowering to 30cm high, Leaves making a loose rosette ca. 15cm high and 20cm wide.
Leaf sheath oval, broad spoon shaped, 8 – 9cm long, 5cm wide, in the bottom half dark brown lepidote.
Leaf blade thin triangular, long acuminate, its tip drying early and curled like a watchspring, to 20cm long, and 3cm wide, both sides with dense grey appressed scales; leaf for that reason seemingly greyish white chalky.
Scape erect, overhangs the rosette a little way, to 20cm long, 5mm thick, round, green, naked.
Scape bracts leaflike, always longer than the internodes, erect, with rolled back tips, with the sheath wholly enveloping the stem.
Inflorescence erect to slightly bent, bipinnate, to 3 erect compound spikes, short cylindric, 8cm long, 3cm thick.
Primary bracts shorter than the spike, similar to the upper scape bracts, erect, more or less 5cm long, green to brownish, at the bottom naked, the tips grey lepidote.
Spike 5 – 6cm long, 1cm wide, complanate, short stemmed, erect, 4 – 5 flowered.
Floral bracts distichous, densely imbricate, covering the rhachis, 2.5cm long, 1.4cm wide, longer than the sepal, green, shiny, not keeled to weakly keeled, naked, scarce scattered scales at the tip.
Sepal 2.2cm long, 5mm wide, membranous, with a thicker midrib, green, naked, free, the posterior ones keeled.
Flower 3.5cm long.
Petals top half violet, at the bottom white, the edges weakly waved, opening a little way.
Stamens a little shorter than the petals.
Style with the lobes shorter than the filament.
Type Rauh 24 305a (Aug 1971) HEID
Habitat on rockfaces, together with T. humilis, 2800m, near Cajamarca, N. Peru.
The plant named from the locality of Cajamarca, is similar vegetatively to a small [T. oroyensis] coming from the same district. Yet grows rarely singly, mostly in dense clumps and is much larger (to 1.4m). In common with [T. oroyensis], [T. cajamarcensis] has long flattened attenuate scape bracts, which are with long sheaths that envelop the scape. The inflorescence for [T. oroyensis] is bi or tripinnate to 50 cm long, the floral bracts at the same time are very laxly arranged, not keeled and naked, the sepals not keeled and the petals purple.
Photo by Peter Tristram. Walter Till considers that this can be considered the name because Rauh’s description was based on a depauperate specimen but Gouda was not so sure. See Photopix.