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Turquoise Puya

Puya raimondii

There are 3,000 species of Bromeliads, and this one is the king!  At over 30 feet tall, Puya raimondii is the world's largest Bromeliad, with one of the largest flower stalks of any plant on earth!  Its massive stalk can get over 25 feet long and contain thousands of flowers.  This is an endangered species that is being kept alive in only a few places outside its native Andes range.

Puya raimondii

Puya raimondii (pronounced "Ray-MON-dee-eye") is a terrestrial Bromeliad from the mountains of Peru and Bolivia.  This Pineapple relative grows to about 8 or 9 feet across, with a rosette of slender leaves that are lined with sharp thorns.  The plant has flowered as young as 24 years old in cultivation, while the average has been 28 years, which is about half as long as they take in the wild!  Each creamy-white blossom is about 2 inches wide, with bright orange anthers.  Here in California they attract various birds, including hummingbirds.  Like most Bromeliads, the plant dies after flowering.  Unlike most Bromeliads, it does not reproduce by pups, only by seed.

Puya raimondii

Puya raimondi

 Puya raimondii comes from cool highlands, at about 13,000 feet.  I have no information on how much heat it can tolerate.  Some other Puya species from the Andes have been raised successfully in warmer areas like Florida.  But this one comes from higher elevations than those, so consider it experimental in hot climates, particularly if nights are warm.  It is believed to be frost-tolerant down to about 20 degrees F (-6C), but it will probably flower soonest if protected from hard freezes.  Full sun is best.  Grow it in fast-draining soil, such as cactus mix.  Despite coming from an arid climate, it can tolerate frequent watering if the soil drains quickly.  In the right conditions, it's an easy, low-maintenance plant.

Puya raimondii

I guarantee that the plants i offer are the true Puya raimondii and not a different species.

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Tips on germinating the seeds

 

Photo #1 courtesy of Pepe Roque, photo #5 by Uta Freund

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Turquoise Puya

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