An extraordinary, otherworldly display of rare bright turquoise blooms is a sight not to be missed at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.
With 2m tall spikes, the exotic Puya alpestris ssp. zeollneri, colloquially known as ‘sapphire towers’, hail from the mountains of Chile and each plant can take up to seven years to come into flower.
Ornamental Gardens & Nursery Supervisor Marion Whitehead, says the seeds of the Puya alpestris ssp. zeollneri at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden were wild collected from Chile in the late 1980s by our botanists.
“It’s a combination of a few things that make the Puyas so special,” she says.
“Each individual plant can take up to seven years to flower which makes it all the more special when they do bloom. And they are shade of blue I’ve never seen anywhere else in nature; this otherworldly blue contrasted with the bright orange of their pollen and their thick waxy flowers make them the most unique flower in the garden.”
For the last couple of years the Puyas at the Garden have put on an amazing, extended display, with up to 40 flower spikes in 2020.
This year's display is likely to be another stand out, with so much rain over the last few months. “The Puyas respond well to consistent watering during their growing season and already we have seen one spike flowering profusely since late October.”