Flesh-eating South American flower that turns animals into COMPOST found on British campsite

May 1, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

A towering South American flower that kills animals and turns their corpses into fertiliser has been found growing – on a British CAMPSITE.

The 10ft payu chilensis uses enormous razor-sharp spikes to trap sheep and other small creatures before slowly starving them to death.

The rare flesh-eater then hoovers up the decomposing remains from the soil to use as plant food.

Ron Lyne, owner of Henry's Campsite looks at the Puya Chilensis which is growing on his land

Ron Lyne, owner of Henry’s Campsite looks at the Puya Chilensis which is growing on his land

Experts say the payu chilensis has been grown on only a handful of occasions in the UK in botanical gardens and greenhouses.

But businessman Ron Lyne, 56, has managed to get one to bloom at Henry’s Campsite on the Lizard in Cornwall.

Curious Ron planted it 15 years ago but says it remained barren until last December when he noticed a tiny bud.

It survived in spite of the winter storms and downpours and has now erupted into bright yellow flowers for the first time.

Ron keeps pigs, chickens and llamas on his land but so far none have been consumed by the giant plant, which is a distant relative of the pineapple.

He said: “I do like payu but I didn’t know what this one would be like. I’ve waited all these years to see it flower.

“I couldn’t believe it had have survived the gales – it just kept growing and growing.

“I keep thinking I should move it, as it’s a bit in the way and sometimes people get their awnings caught on it.”

In its native Chile farmers often burn down payu chilensis to avoid their livestock becoming snared in its neon-green spikes that can grow to 12 feet high and 5 feet wide.

Despite its intimidating reputation, it provides an abundance of nectar for birds and insects and is itself a threatened species.

It has flowered previously on only a handful of occasions in the UK, including last year at a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) greenhouse in Surrey.

Category: News

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