Rare South American plant blooms in Devon

July 15, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Gardeners were blooming stunned today after this rare plant bloomed for the first time – in ten YEARS.

The Puya compacta is usually found flowering in high altitude on the baking hot grasslands of Ecuador.

But this specimen has produced purple and blue flowers from its stalk at Trebah Gardens near Falmouth, Cornwall.

Head gardener Darren Dickey, 39, said it was ”very rare” for a puya to bloom in Britain.

He said it has been brought to life by Britain’s heat wave but fears its flowers may only last a short while.

Mr Dickey said: ”I identified the flower as a Puya compacta with the help of another head gardener at another attraction.

”It was planted 10 years ago here and has never bloomed before.

”This plant is polycarpic – which means it does not die after flowering, and will instead take up to 10 years to flower again.

”This flower originates from Southern Ecuador and is very very rare.

”Once in flower, it will bloom for about seven days before wilting so there’s only a brief chance to see it.”

The compacta is a species of plant in the Bromeliaceae family and is endemic to subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland in South America.

But the natural population is decreasing due to habitat loss caused by fires used to clear forests for crops.

Category: News

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