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 Weather Station

Products > Puya laxa
Puya laxa - Hay Stack Puya

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads)
Origin: Argentina (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Dark Blue
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Puya laxa (Hay Stack Puya) - A tough and attractive evergreen terrestrial bromeliad that forms 12 to 18 inch tall clumps that spread 3 to 4 feet or more bearing wispy stems that hold 1 foot wide open rosettes of twisting spiny margined leaves densely clothed in fine silver hairs and margined with tiny recurved teeth. The 3 foot tall red stemmed inflorescence, holds loosely spaced thin tubular flowers that have a red-violet exterior and are dark blackish purple on the interior - flowers are unusual but not outstanding showy. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil. Extremely drought and frost tolerant - tolerated our Christmas 1990 frost at 18F without damage. The form we are growing came from a Santa Barbara succulent collector and is more robust with larger leaves than other Puya laxa in cultivation, including the one we previously grew (1991-1997). It makes a nice drought tolerant groundcover that is resistant to deer predation and attractive to hummingbirds. Though it looks soft to the touch, use caution and gloves as its looks are deceiving with irritating tiny sharp recurved spines that will grab unwary hands. Though Warner Rauh in Bromelien the landmark 1970 treaty on Bromeliads listed this Lyman Smith described species as coming from Argentina, later writings about it note the plant Lyman described in 1958 as coming from near Pulquina in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (Phytologia 6, 1958). The name for the genus come from the Chilean name used for the species Puya chilensis and the specific epithet is from the Latin word 'laxus' meaning "loose", "slack" or "relaxed" in reference to the open rosettes of reflexed leaves.  The information on this page is based on the research that we have conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from what we have found on reliable online sources, as well as from observations made of our crops of this plant growing in the nursery and of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Puya laxa.