Sheep-eating flowers?!

I was planning to follow up on Jeff’s phosphorus post with a bit more “phun with phosphorous.” However, I was completely derailed by Ray Eckhart’s message and link left for me on our GP facebook page with this headline:

RHS ‘sheep-eating’ plant about to bloom in Surrey

“The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at Wisley said the Puya
, a native of Chile, would bloom in the next few days and last
about a week.

In the Andes it uses its sharp spines to snare and trap sheep and other animals, which slowly starve to death.”

“The animals then decay at the base of the plant, acting as a fertiliser.”

[Dear BBC News: “Snare” and “Eat” are not really interchangeable]

How…have I not heard of this before.

I’ve posted previously on my Puya fixation. I asked readers to bet on how long it would take for me to kill my wee Puya bertoniana, mail-ordered from Annie’s Annuals.  I am happy to report that it made through the winter (greenhouse) and is now sunning itself on our deck.

Now this really ups the ante – it captures sheep!  Maybe P. bertoniana isn’t as robust as P. chilensis though. Perhaps…a vole or rabbit?

7 thoughts on “Sheep-eating flowers?!”

  1. My rancher brother-in-law used to raise sheep and he said they were so dumb that were dead sheep walking. When they would get stuck in the blackberry brambles rather than to pull themselves free, they’d just stand there until they died. He went back to cattle.

  2. “…have been hypothesized to undergo the process of self-immolation or spontaneous combustion” says the author at the link Ray posted. Wow. So now I really can’t wait for my Puya to grow up.

Leave a Reply