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12 Dec 2018

Rare blooms in the Blue Mountains

With three metre tall spikes amassed in an explosion of bright turquoise blooms, the otherworldly ‘Puya’ or Puya alpestris ssp. zeollneri at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah are set to put on an incredible display until the end of the year.

The exotic flowers, colloquially known as ‘sapphire towers’, hail from the mountains of Chile and each flower only blooms once at the end of its seven year life! Check out the video below from Greg Bourke, Curator Manager of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.

A rare bloom

“The flowers here were wild collected from Chile in the late 1980’s by our botanists. Given they only flower once in their seven year life, it takes a lot of good work and good luck to ensure such a striking floral display,” said Greg.

Puya are strangely beautiful - like nothing else in the plant world. They attract all manner of insect and birdlife which fly in to enjoy the nectar. Honeyeaters, the Red Wattlebirds, and even the shy Eastern Spinebills will make an appearance for Puya nectar, so the display will be worthwhile for bird lovers too.
The Puya display can be seen in the Lower Rock Garden at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden until January 2019 - pinpoint the blooms using Garden Explorer.

If you are planning a special trip to the Garden check out the Blue Mountains Road Trip to make the most of your summer holidays! There are 17 curated stops covering all interests and ages.  

Did you know? A close relative of the Puya alpestris, the Puya raimondii, flowers only once in one hundred years!

Category: Horticulture
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