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Puya spathacea

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11th August 2008

I bought this from Cotswold Garden Flowers earlier in the year. Large grey rosettes look wonderful. The leaves are lined with pale orange spines that detach easily, especially of there is a convenient hand to stick into! It sits in the greenhouse, and I don't move it around much.
Eventually it should produce a branched flower spike covered in distinctive red bracts.

7th November 2008

I bought this as Ochagavia carnea , because it resembled a form of that species I used to grow, with long silvery leaves, though they were a lot thinner than this. This plant was later identified as Puya spathacea.
It comes from Argentina, and has striking red flower spikes, bracts and buds, and electric blue/green flowers.

26th March 2009

15th June 2013

The flower confirms the identification. Unfortunately although I pollinated the flowers, it didn't set any seed. I'm not sure what I would do with hundreds of little babies, but it would be nice to have the option.
It has produced some offshoots and it seems to be cold hardy so it might be worth trying a piece outside.

14th June 2017