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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 clusters of any plant on earth!  This is an endangered species that is being kept alive in only a few places outside its native Andes range.  It is rarely seen for sale.  More pictures of this incredible plant are here.

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 8-9 feet across, with a rosette of grass-like leaves that are lined with sharp thorns.  It is said to live to 100 years or more.  The plant has flowered twice in the U.S. - one at 28 years and one at 33.  The massive flower stalk can be 19 feet long, containing thousands of flowers.  Each creamy-white blossom is about 2 inches wide, with bright orange anthers.  Like most Bromeliads, the plant dies after flowering.  Unlike most Bromeliads, it does not reproduce by pups, only by seed.

Puya raimondi

 Puya raimondii

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 species 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.  Grow it in fast-draining soil, much like with cacti.  Full sun is best.  It can tolerate frequent watering if grown in quick-draining soil.  In the right conditions, it is an easy, low-maintenance plant.

Puya raimondii

Teenage Puya raimondii plants

 

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Tips on germinating the seeds are here.

 

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Turquoise Puya

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