Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Puya berteroniana--Turquoise Puya
The Turquoise Puya is now in bloom at the UC Botanical Garden. The waxy greenish-blue flowers with the orange anthers are stunning. It is in the Bromeliad family, which also contains pineapples and Spanish moss. It is pollinated by birds that like to sit when they eat, and the plant has conveniently provided perches which look like fancy horns sticking out from between the flowers. I have never seen this growing in a private garden. Perhaps because it is too big and the leaves have sharp edges, so placement would be difficult. It seems to grow well in this climate, and can take the usual frosts we get in Berkeley, but it likes well-drained soil, which is hard to find around here.
I found seeds for sale online; ten seeds for $3. It takes at least 6 years to reach blooming size, but they are supposed to be easy to propagate. Maybe I should give it a try.