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In the Media

article imageSheep-eating plant, Puya chilensis, blooms at RHS Garden Wisley

Puya chilensis, a plant native to Chile, is called a sheep-eating plant because it "kills" and "eats" sheep by using its sharp spines to trap the animal which starves to death, decomposes and provides a natural fertilizer that nourishes the plant.
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.
Puya chilensis 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.
The BBC 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.
Puya chilensis (sheep-eating plant)
László Szalai (Beyond silence)
Puya chilensis (sheep-eating plant)
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Puya chilensis (Sheep-eating plant)
László Szalai (Beyond silence)
Puya chilensis (Sheep-eating plant)
image:151599:0::0
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."
Puya chilensis (sheep-eating plant)
Stan Shebs
Puya chilensis (sheep-eating plant)
image:151600:0::0
Puya chilensis (sheep-eating plant)
Stan Shebs
Puya chilensis (sheep-eating plant)
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Puya chilensis
Flickr/FarOutFlora
Puya chilensis
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article:352834:3::0
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