Chilean Puya
Puya chilensis

Family: Bromeliaceae (bro-mee-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Puya (POO-yuh) (Info)
Species: chilensis (chil-ee-EN-sis) (Info)

Category:

Shrubs

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

Spacing:

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Foliage:

Evergreen

Blue-Green

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Carmichael, California

Sacramento, California

San Leandro, California

San Marino, California

Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Sep 7, 2009, paani from Saint Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

"...another titanic blossom is being born. No one outside my country will know it; it only grows on these Antarctic shores. it is called chahual (Puya chilensis). This ancestral plant was worshipped by the Araucanians. The ancient Arauco no longer exists. Blood, death, time, and later the epic songs of Alonso de Ercilla, closed the ancient history of a tribe made of clay, rudely awakened from a geological dream to defend its invaded country. When I see its flowers come up again, over centuries of obscure dead, over layers of bloodstained forgetfulness, I believe that the earth's past blooms in spite of what we are, in spite of what we have become. Only the earth goes on being, preserving its own nature.
"But I forgot to describe this flower.
"It's a Bromeliacea with sharp, sa... read more

Positive

On Mar 31, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I never understood why someone might want to grow this vicious plant- huge rosettes of relatively uninteresting incredibly spiny suckering into an impenetable thicket... until I saw the flowers this March- incredible!! THe flower stalks are up to 8' tall, and have huge, complex chartreuse (and I mean shocking chartreuse!) flowers.