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Puya chilensis
D. Hinkley @ UC Berkeley Botanic Gdn, CA

Puya chilensis

Chile Puya

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Item #: 9122

Zones: 7b to 9b

Height: 18" tall

Culture: Sun to Part Sun

Origin: Chile

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L) ?

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.

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Puya chilensis, which hails from the dry deserts of Chile at elevations up to 3,000', is one of the few species of spiny bromeliads to survive long term (since 2005) in our garden. The 3' wide spiny rosettes...and I really mean spiny, may take up to two decades to flower, but like all good things it's worth the wait. The 6' tall flower spikes resemble otherworldly, oversized, lime green medieval mace clubs. In areas where it is happy, Puya chilensis will slowly form a large colony; but here, where we burn back the foliage below 10 degrees F, it will probably never get that large. A south or west sloped exposure where it gets sun during the day and stays dry in the winter, is the key to success. Don't plant outdoors after August from Zone 8 north.