June 21, 2013

As fascinating plants go, Puya chilensis has a few things going for it that most can’t hold a candle to. I mean, not only are its Gatorade-colored flowers some of the most otherworldly blooms seen anywhere, but its ten-foot flower spikes are some of the tallest in the world. Oh, and before it skips my mind, this plant eats sheep.

I should clarify: the puya grows high up in the Chilean Andes, where it snares sheep and other animals with its sharp spines. Unable to escape, the cute-and-fluffies (sadly) starve to death at the base of the plant, where they become—what else?—fertilizer. Try that one on for size, Venus flytrap.

In captivity, Puya chilensis is difficult to coax into bloom, and lives on liquid fertilizers. I assume this is because leading sheep and goats to their doom a la Jurassic Park would test poorly with botanical garden visitors. Click through for the whole story. —MN

(Image sources: 1, 2, 3)

  1. the-secret-life-of-plants reblogged this from nybg
  2. w-chang reblogged this from fouryearsofshades
  3. fouryearsofshades reblogged this from nybg and added:
    That takes trapping animals to a higher level.
  4. co-nelson reblogged this from bromeliace and added:
    I am desperate to grow Puya species I can not find many around mail order but I keep my eyes constantly peeled.
  5. thesmallanomaly reblogged this from thehopefulbotanymajor
  6. sempergratia reblogged this from nybg
  7. nangoat reblogged this from nybg
  8. frantastica reblogged this from bromeliace
  9. internetextrovert reblogged this from bromeliace
  10. xanthocomically reblogged this from bromeliace
  11. akayna reblogged this from bromeliace
  12. bromeliace reblogged this from thehopefulbotanymajor
  13. thehopefulbotanymajor reblogged this from nybg
  14. sassafrassian reblogged this from nybg
  15. zholtaniusar reblogged this from nybg
  16. ifeellikebeinghappytoday reblogged this from nybg
  17. cigscum reblogged this from nybg
  18. q2k reblogged this from nybg
  19. bryt3rlayt3r reblogged this from nybg
  20. dmkfl reblogged this from nybg
  21. jkburton reblogged this from nybg
  22. fercarini reblogged this from nybg
  23. 0rcinus0rca reblogged this from soleilalae
Blog comments powered by Disqus