According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
in England, the 10ft high South American plant (Puya chilensis
) is set to bloom in a glasshouse in the UK for the first time since it was planted 15 years ago. The bloom is expected to last about a week.
is an evergreen perennial
found in arid hillsides of Chile. Its green and yellow flowers are carried on spikes that resemble a medieval mace. The plant grows very slowly. In the wild it may take 20 years or more to flower.
The RHS explains that the specimen of the species at its Garden Wisley
in Surrey, UK, is not allowed to kill and feed on sheep. It is fed liquid fertilizer instead.
reports the gardening society said that only very few specimens of the plant have been known to flower in the UK. The National Botanic Garden of Wales
reported it had to wait 11 years for its plant to bloom.
Horticulturist Cara Smith at the RHS's Garden Wisley told the BBC
: "I'm really pleased that we've finally coaxed our Puya chilensis into flower. We keep it well fed with liquid fertilizer as feeding it on its natural diet might prove a bit problematic. It's growing in the arid section of our glasshouse with its deadly spines well out of reach of both children and sheep alike."