For all five of you that might have paid attention to my posts on the genus Puya (which does in fact rhyme with booyah…thank you my west-coastie friends):
Here’s the update that you’ve been waiting for!
Puya is a horrifically spiny, painful, and hateful genus in the Bromeliad family. Native to the Andes, the fish-hook-like spines snare passing mammals; the rotting flesh provides nutrients to the exceptionally lean soil of the arid steppes on which it sort of grows/becomes grumpier.
Puya flowers once an eon, in a spectacular [but ill-earned] display that turned me to mush, based on a photo in an Annie’s Annuals catalog (see my “eternal gardening optimist” post). Autumn of 2012, I ordered and received one healthy Puya berteroniana in a 4” pot. Heckling commenced. Overwinters in a 40 F greenhouse, where it was watered once or twice. Summers have been spent on our deck. Osmocote has hopefully provided required nutrients. Expected to kill her within months, as it is SO VERY not native to the verdant and humid Blue Ridge mountains of Southwest Virginia.
Happy and amazed to say Pootie [what was I going to name her? Bert??] is in her 3rd year – continuing to grow, and, AND, captured her very first mammal!
Okay… so it’s a fluffy stuffed possum, and the dogs dropped it from the deck above. But snagged! You know Pootie got a thrill…