Huge plant to bloom for first time in 12 years

A gardener looks at the puya in Overbeck's Garden
A large puya plant should bloom for the first time in 12 years at Overbeck's Garden [BBC]

An exotic plant is expected to bloom for the first time in 12 years at a National Trust property in Devon.

Staff at Overbeck's Garden, near Salcombe, said they believed the 12ft (3.65m) tall puya - a plant native to Chile - would flower during the week.

Overbeck's head gardener Chris Groves said the plant, a member of the pineapple family, took years to bloom because of the amount of time it needed to collect the energy to grow.

He added a warm micro-climate in the area had helped the plant grow so far away from its usual south American home.

Mr Groves said staff at the venue knew it would flower after they noticed the plant had spiked in February.

He added people at the property were looking forward to seeing the plant flower for the first time since it arrived at Overbeck's.

"We’ll expect it to open up in the next few days or couple of weeks," Mr Groves said.

"It’s quite a big spectacle and it goes for it on a grand scale."

Mr Groves said the puya should attract birds to pollenate it before eventually "dying back" later this year.

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