Plants with extremely bad behaviour
02 April 2016 - by Uhi Millington

It's big, it's bad and it is beautiful. Puya chilensis is a ground dwelling bromeliad originating from arid Chilean hillsides. It is a rosette forming evergreen perennial bearing very impressive flowers on stems up to 3m long.

Picture By Megan Hansen [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr
But this plant has a very grisly habit and is commonly known as the sheep eating plant (its not exclusive, it will feed on other animals too).

It gets its meals by trapping unsuspecting animals in its multiple curved spines; the animals slowly starve to death and the plant absorbs the nutrients released by the rotting carcass.

We don't currently stock this plant at Urban Jungle, just as well as I don't think the nursery dogs and cats would be safe, however we do have some smaller cousins such as Puya ferruginea which reaches up to 1m and Puya mirabilis which spreads to 75cm.

If you are taken with this Puya but not keen its rather unpleasant habit, we have an impressive collection of Kniphofias this year for all the drama without the danger!!

Kniphofia 'Jenny Bloom'
Kniphofia northiae

Kniphofia 'Shining Sceptre' Bloom
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