The Puya raimondii returns to UC Botanical Garden after more than 20 years

Maggie Soun/Staff

There’s a very special plant that’s flowering at the UC Botanical Garden right now, and you might only get to see it once during your lifetime. The Puya raimondii, also known as the Queen of the Andes, is in the process of producing a bloom that could sprout 30 feet high and feature up to 30,000 flowers, and we UC Berkeley students can witness the Puya bloom for free.

IMG_3718According to the UC Berkeley News Center, there has been one other Puya in the UC Botanical Garden that bloomed in the late 1980s. In the wild, the Puya only blooms every 80 t0 100 years, so according to UC Botanical Garden Director Paul Licht in the UC Berkeley News Center, it’s very hard to say why it appears to accelerate its pace in the UC Botanical Garden.IMG_3732

This Puya is 24 years old and is currently about three feet tall. It’s located near the Garden of Old Roses, and UC Botanical Garden has set up a wooden viewing platform and signs around the garden directing visitors to the Puya, so they can get a close-up look at this rare experience.

It’s difficult to know exactly how long it’ll be when the Puya will bloom again, but we at the Clog are sure to keep an eye on it this summer.




Contact Sujin Shin at [email protected]