The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Puya chilensis is a Evergreen Perennial up to 2.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
S. America - Chile.
Arid hillsides in the Andes, often spreading across large areas[
Requires a hot dry position[
]. Requires a lime-free soil[
]. Requires a sheltered well-drained position[
This species is not very cold-hardy in Britain. However, plants can tolerate infrequent short-lived frosts down to about -5°c[
] and can be grown outdoors in the mildest parts of the country[
]. They are growing well at Probus Gardens in Cornwall where they survived temperatures lower than -6°c in the winter of 1995 - 6[
The leaves have large, viciously hooked spines[
Is the plant monocarpic[
]? A self-sterile species, it is pollinated by birds in the wild. In cultivation, cross-pollination with P. alpestris can be effective[
Very young shoots are eaten in salads[
A fibre from the leaves is used in making nets[
A soft material obtained from the stems is used to make corks and bungs[
A gum is obtained from the plant as a result of insect damage[
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.