This attractive South American species is displaying elegant blooms in the Glasshouse Bays.
Puya mirabilis, whose specific name means wonderful, produces loose racemes of elegant, pale yellow-green, funnel-shaped flowers on arching stems to 90cm in length. These emerge from a spreading basal rosette of finely toothed, linear leaves. A native of Argentina and Brazil, where it grows on rocky slopes at altitudes up to 2500m, it is one of 170 species of South American terrestrial bromeliads. It is a relatively fast-growing species best treated as a tender perennial in the United Kingdom, though it will survive outside in winter if given a warm, protected location, as here in a south-facing border against a wall.