Aechmea comata is a spring-blooming species of bromeliad with reddish bracts, orange sepals and bright yellow flowers. The sturdy inflorescence is held well above the foliage so the colour is visible from far away. The foliage is stiff and heavily armoured with spines. The lower part of each leaf has a distinctive depressed area often referred to as a thumbprint. The leaves are also marked with purple at the base, especially on the inner side.