This remarkable species is native to evergreen forests from Sikkim though the Himalayas to South East Asia. The flower spike has over 100 flowers tightly packed together so that they form a fantastic geometric ‘cone’. The pattern produced would make a lovely silk waistcoat!
We have seen the species in Sikkim where it wraps itself around trunks and large branches thanks to its long rhizome. This habit makes it rather difficult to manage in cultivation and we have adopted the approach of wrapping it around in a circle in a basket. At present it looks a little straggly but in time it should make an impressive specimen.
We grow the species in Warm Asia where it seems happy but it could grow cooler as it is found from 1200-1400m altitude.
(Thanks again to Joe for the fantastic photos)