Saturday, June 22, 2013

[Cryptobotany] Sheep-eating Puya Chilensis.

The Huffington Post recently posted an article regarding a sheep-eating plant native to Chile. It's an interesting article from a cryptobotany perspective. One part of me wonders if there might be a parallel plant in Laos. But that's a search for another time. Among other fascinating tidbits the article notes:
An exotic "sheep-eating" plant, so-called because it kills and "eats" sheep, has bloomed for the first time at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden Wisley in the U.K.
The plant, known formally as Puya chilensis, has been at the garden for 15 years. In that time, it has reached a height of 10 feet and grown its signature base of razor-sharp, hook-shaped spines.
Per a BBC report, in its native habitat of Chile, the plant uses the spines to ensnare sheep and other small animals. After they starve to death and decompose, the animals nourish the plant through the soil, acting as a gruesome fertilizer.

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