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Puya chilensis -

Family:Bromeliaceae
Habit:Perennial
Height:2
Width:2
Synonyms:P. coarctata.
Range:S. America - Chile.
Puya chilensis () is a Perennial which grows to a height of 2m and a width of 2m . It has a hardness rating of 9.
Puya chilensis will flower in January. The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by Birds

Soil Information

Puya chilensis will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy),hard (clay) soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.
The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :
- pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
- pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
Puya chilensis prefers dry soils

Ideal Planting Locations

Puya chilensis should not be planted in shady areas.

Not known

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

Cultivation Details

Requires a hot dry position[166]. Requires a lime-free soil[200]. Requires a sheltered well-drained position[260]. This species is not very cold-hardy in Britain. However, plants can tolerate infrequent short-lived frosts down to about -5c[200, 260] and can be grown outdoors in the mildest parts of the country[166]. They are growing well at Probus Gardens in Cornwall where they survived temperatures lower than -6c in the winter of 1995 - 6[K]. The leaves have large, viciously hooked spines[260]. Is the plant monocarpic[1]? A self-sterile species, it is pollinated by birds in the wild. In cultivation, cross-pollination with P. alpestris can be effective[260].

Edible Uses*

* See disclaimer
Edible Rating: 1/5
Very young shoots are eaten in salads[177, 183].

Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer
Medicinal Rating: 0/5
None known

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division of offsets in the spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Known Hazards

None known

Other Uses

A fibre from the leaves is used in making nets[46, 61]. A soft material obtained from the stems is used to make corks and bungs[64]. A gum is obtained from the plant as a result of insect damage[46, 61, 64].

Cultivars

no recorded cultivars

References

The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Huxley. A.
Author: Huxley. A.
Rating:
Publisher : Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
Date of Publication : 1992

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