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Puya coerulea var violacea, 20 seeds
This is yet another hard-to-find and unusual terrestrial bromelaid related to pineapples. Like most Puyas, Puya coerulea var violacea is a perennial that too hails from Chile. When not in bloom, the curling, silvery foliage makes a large, striking clump. Though handsome to look at, the margins of the leaves are edged with fiendish, hooked thorns that can tear and will hurt skin, so this plant is not recommended for planting close to paths. Blooming is from late spring through summer. Tall flesh-pink stems start to rise from the middle of the foliage clump bearing well-spaced buds that soon burst into the narrowly tubed, silky-smooth, royal blue flowers contrasted by yellow stamens. Hardy from zone 9 onwards. 5 feet tall and wide. Full sun and warm soil. Drought tolerant when established. Hard-to-find seeds, harvested 11/2011.