Puya raimondii
“Queen of the Andes”

Puya raimondii "Queen of the Andes"
Photo courtesy of Amy Van Artsdalen

Extremely rare and endangered, this ancient marvel, common name “Queen of the Andes”, is the largest bromeliad in the world. Plant geeks from near and far made the pilgrimage to see one of these wonders going into bloom at Berkeley’s UC Botanical Garden last Spring. In its 24th year, the 10’ x 8’ Yucca-like base of radial, slender foliage birthed its spectacular bloom spike reaching 30’ in height! 10,000+, 2” white flowers appeared in progression up the stalk from June to September. A true phenoma of the natural world, this native of the highlands of Bolivia and Peru blooms only at maturity, after which the plant will die, yielding up a million or more seeds for (hopefully) future generations. Hardy to 20 F, it’s as easy as any other Puya in temperate climates, but do provide very good drainage. Google this rare offering to learn so many more fun facts and ogle the images!


Avg/Low Water

Perennial succulent
USDA Zones 9b-10