Facts

  • The puya is native to the central plains, plateaus and Andean foothills of Chile.
  • Unlike many other bromeliads, puyas grow on the ground (terrestrial) and not on other plants (epiphytic).

Wildlife facts

This puya is pollinated by birds: they can often be seen sitting on the bract-like extensions on the flowering structure drinking nectar. It is not uncommon for wild puya plants to have dying or dead and rotting animals caught in their spiny rosettes of leaves. Scientists are not sure that the leaves were adapted for this specific purpose, but it could be seen as an added bonus of offering protection against grazing animals.

Useful links

Glossary
  • Bisexual: both sexes in the same flower or in some cases flowering structure (inflorescence)
  • Bract: modified or specialised leaf in an inflorescence. 
  • Capsule: dry fruit that opens by valves, slits or pores to release seeds (dehiscent) and is composed of two or more united carpels (the basic unit of the female sexual organ). 
  • Herb: plant with fleshy parts rather than a persistent woody stem above ground.
  • Perennial: lives for at least two years. 

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