Species of the month
Queen of the Andes
Some facts on this plant:
Height of vegetative growth: Up to 3 m.
Height of flower cluster: Up to 10 m.
Range: Endemic to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru.
Habitat: High mountains at an elevation of 3200–4800 m.
Conservation status: Endangered (IUCN 3.1).
Puya raimondii isn't satisfied with producing one or two flowers. No, it makes an abundance of 10,000 flowers which result in an overwhelming 6,000,000 seeds. It is the largest member of the Bromeliad family, Bromeliaceae, which contains more than 3,000 species. To grow such a gigantic inflorescence Puya raimondii needs a very long time; it takes this plant 80 to 150 years to reach maturity and come into bloom. Unfortunately, it blossoms only once and the plant dies soon after the fruits ripen. That’s why this species is endangered in the wild with a small population. Puya raimondii is pollinated by bats and large insects.
(Archived from Template:Species of the week)