Rhizomes: internodes short, leaves crowded at rhizome apex (or internodes somewhat elongate, leaves scarcely crowded in var. arifolia and var. callifolia growing in wet places). Leaf blade commonly variegate, triangular-sagittate to subhastate, infrequently ovate-sagittate to deltate. Flowers: calyx tube narrowly to broadly urceolate-campanulate or ovoid, 12-30 × 6-12 mm, inner surface smooth; lobes erect or spreading, 2-8 × 2-9 mm, adaxially puberulent; stamen connective extending slightly beyond pollen sacs; ovary ca. 1/3-inferior; ovules ca. 6 per locule; styles 2-cleft to stigma.
Varieties 3 (all in the flora): North America.
Hexastylis arifolia is the most widespread species in the genus. Along the boundaries where the ranges of the varieties meet, intermediate specimens are occasionally found.
The Catawba tribe used Hexastylis arifolia (no varieties specified) medicinally for stomach pains, miscellaneous pains, heart trouble, and backaches; the Rappahannock, for treating whooping cough and asthma (D. E. Moerman 1986).