Puya Bromeliad Plants
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Puya (pew’ya) – Belonging to the Pitcairnioideae subfamily; this genus, which contains about 186 species, is the oldest and most primitive of all bromeliads.
Not only is it the oldest, but one species, Puya raimondii, is the largest. This giant may reach 10 meters in height and take over 100 years to develop a flower spike. This is truly a remarkable bromeliad as its inflorescence consists of masses of flowers arranged on a stem approximately 60 to 90 cm in diameter and containing about thirty thousand individual flowers.
All puyas are terrestrial or saxicolous, existing in areas of extreme climatic conditions, from snow to deserts. They range in height from 30 cm to 10 meters and all have stiff, spiny leaves with cruel barbs along the edges. As a rule they grow in large clumps and therefore are not for the average collector. They are usually best grown in botanical gardens where space is not a problem. Flowers in this group are tubular and consist of three main colors, green lavender and blue, however there are some with white flowers, and their size ranges from 2 to 10 cm in length.
Puya raimondii pictured.
For more information on the Pitcairnioideae Bromeliad subfamily, check out my Bromeliad Subfamily – Pitcairnioideae post!
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