This stunning Calathea is widely distributed in tropical rainforests from southern Mexico to Bolivia. It forms a tight, dense cluster of upright, long stalked, broad leaves that are whitish waxy underneath. The stalked inflorescences are branched and consist of closely stacked, tubular bracts that can vary from yellow to brown or red. In Panama and Costa Rica, the leaves are used to wrap and cook Tamales, Burritos and other foods. It makes a marvelous ornamental for the tropical garden that does well in shade or full sun.