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Puya chilensis - Molina.

Common Name
Family Bromeliaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Arid hillsides in the Andes, often spreading across large areas[260].
Range S. America - Chile.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Full sun
Puya chilensis


Puya chilensis
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Puya chilensis is an evergreen Perennial growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower in July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Birds. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

P. coarctata.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Gum.

Very young shoots are eaten in salads[177, 183].

Medicinal Uses

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None known

Other Uses

Cork;  Fibre;  Gum.

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].

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 -5°c[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 -6°c 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].

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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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

Molina.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Ralf   Sun Dec 16 16:41:16 2001

Puya raymondii (grows in the Peruan Andes up to 4,000 metres and is up to 4 metres high) is also used for cork and the production of "chagual gum". The plant is also used to make fish hooks. Ralf

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Subject : Puya chilensis  
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