This species, synonymous with Lepanthes mastodon, is from the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia, and is in many ways a very unusual species. It is pendant and has two different kinds of leaves. The larger, flowering leaves are on stems 10 cm or more in length, the leaves themselves a bit longer than 5 cm. These leaves are covered with coarse hairs on the upper surface and bear a succession of unusually shaped and colored flowers on ever lengthening thread-like inflorescences. The other leaves are smaller, only about 3 cm, and are borne on stems only 3-4 cm long. These leaves do not have the coarse hairs of the blooming leaves.
Each new growth has the typical sheathes of the genus Lepanthes. All the leaves are a dark reddish-green and are very attractive in their own right, but the flowers are the real attraction. They are a little over 1.5 cm tall and are an attractive reddish mahogany color with touches of yellow, red and green. The flowers not only bloom successively on their spikes, but each leaf will continue to produce new spikes so that each may have several flowers open and so that the plant is never out of flower. The name manabina refers to a western Ecuadorian state where this plant is found.