This species grows in Central and South America as an epiphyte. It has a lowfrom which grows a flat, funnel-shaped rosette of stiff . These are an attractive feature for they turn vivid red and yellow before the appear. The central are markedly shorter than the outside ones. The inflorescence does not protrude from the rosette, but is concealed inside the funnel. There are usually seven to twelve yellow flowers about 6 cm (2.5 inch) long. G. sanguinea is the only species in the genus that tolerates direct sun and a rather dry atmosphere. It does well in a warm room if correctly watered.
This species was named after the botanist Zahn, who collected plants in Central America. The type species grows in the forests of Costa Rica and has yielded a great many cultivars. Like other species of this genus, the leaves are arranged in large, funnel-shaped rosettes. They can be up to 60 cm (24 in) long, but are only 23-35 mm wide. They are brownish-green. The inflorescence extends only slightly beyond the leaves and is composed of 10-15 yellow flowers about 3 cm (1 inch) long. The bracts are large, flared and coloured red.