It originates in Vanuatu where it is widely distributed on many of the islands and is also found in the Solomon Islands. It commonly grows as scattered individual in disturbed lowland rainforest, especially in moist soils.
The species is essentially tropical in its requirements and is rather sensitive to cold, although it can be grown in a warm, protected position in the subtropics. The plants are generally slow growing and make excellent subjects for tub culture.
They require shaded conditions and protection from strong winds. A choice variant having variegated leaves is grown in Singapore.