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In its typical state (var. himalayana) this differs from its var. griffithii in its smaller leaves (to 4 in. long) and its very slender inflorescences. It is a native of Manipur, the hills of Assam and the eastern Himalaya. It may have been introduced in the last century, but the plants now in cultivation are from seed sent to the National Botanic Garden, Glasnevin, Eire, in 1972.