This species forms rather small, flatrosettes. The are very distinctive, serve as a ready means of identifica tion, and gave rise to the plant’s specific name (Latin = two, vittatus= striped), for there are two very prominent pale stripes on the upper side. The leaves are about 20 cm (8 in) long, only slightly wavy and finely toothed on the margin, glabrous above and faintly scaly on the underside.
It is interesting to note that earlier botanists found it difficult to determine the appropriate genus of this species. Some classed it in the genus Bilbergia, others in the genus Tillandsia, and still others in the genus Nidularium.
The cultivar Tt’ is probably a mutant from hybrids whose parentage probably included C. bivittatus. It has a rosette of linear leaves about 45 cm (18 in) long and 4 cm (1.5 in) wide. They are olive-green with broad, white, longitudinal stripes, and tinged bright pinkish-red on the margins and at the base. The lighter the plant’s location, the more pronounced are the stripes.