This is a jewel from the wet rainforests of southern Ecuador. We first offered this plant back in 1995 after a trip to the region. Here is an account from that trip:
“Racinaea undulifolia. Oft misidentified, this is one of Nature's most unusual bromeliads. Growing to a foot tall or so with a bulbous base formed by deeply channeled leaves with bizarre undulating margins. The foliage color is rusty-red to greenish, not bad, but the inflorescence is a work of art! Imagine rattlesnake rattles, several of them, painted a vivid orange and hanging from a gracefully drooping inflorescence. They are magnificent. I'll never forget the first one I found.
On a jungle trail, 1500 feet up in the Condor mountains of southern Ecuador, just before the outbreak of the war there with Peru, I was picking my way through the tangled growth, marveling at the incredible abundance of strange species. All at once I spotted an undulifolia, a tiny one without a spike and only two inches tall or so. I was ecstatic! I couldn't believe my luck and I expended half a roll of film taking its photo. Never believing I would find another, I took it along and set off again. Then I saw it, a fallen tree hanging over a cliff. Out on the tree, about 20 feet or so, well out of reach of my pole, a limb hung festooned with blooming specimens. I let out a war-hoop that my companion Salvador heard a hundred yards away, and set about to cut the fallen tree in half with my machete so it would fall against the cliff where we could collect the plants. Salvador appeared on the scene just as the tree separated and the top half shot down the slope like a rocket! Now the plants were out of sight a few dozen yards down the treacherous slope. We fixed ropes and down I went, to later struggle back up muddy but triumphant!
Now, with little strain and no pain you can own one of these most coveted beauties. Not the easiest to grow, but should do well if kept moist and shaded. Mount or grow in loose, not packed, sphagnum. Try to keep from drying out or overheating.