Calathea insignis is an evergreen perennial that forms clumps of narrow, erect, wavy-edged, lance-shaped leaves that are pale green with dark blotches and purplish red on the undersides that are soft to the touch.
White flowers that are small and tubular in shape are sometimes produced at ground level in spring.
When planted outside Calathea insignis prefers moist, organically rich soil in a shady position, akin to their natural jungle habitat. It can also do well in slightly sandy soils, though an acid to neutral pH is preferred.
As a house plant it can take quite low light conditions, though the leaves should be misted with water several times a week. Keep a uniform high humidity and temperature if possible. Leaves may turn brown if not kept moist enough or if it is bothered by cool draughts.