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This cobra lily is widely distributed from the Himalayas to northern Burma and southwestern China at high altitude between 1700 and 3600 m and produces a large inflorescence in summer, clothed in a stunning dark purple or almost black spathe with vertical white stripes that usually produces a whip-like tip. The single, large, glossy leaf is palmate and deeply lobed to the base and can reach to 1,5 m tall. The foliage is deciduous in winter and the plant hibernates as a bulbous rhizome and can survive even severe freezes with a little mulch. It is considered hardy down to at least USDA Zone 6 and must have moist but very well drained soil and a spot in filtered sun to look its best.