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Puya Raimondi, also known as Queen of the Andes (Puya raimondii) is an endemic species of the altoandina zone of Bolivia and Peru, found at an altitude of 3200 - 4800 m. It was the French scientist Alcide d'Orbigny (1802-1857) who was the first to discover it in 1830 in the region of Vacas in Cochabamba Department in Bolivia at an altitude of 3960 m . The name of the Puya Raimondi commemorates the Italian scientist Antonio Raimondi (1826-1890), who resided in Peru for many years and made wide botanical explorations there. He discovered this species later in Peru in the region of Chavin de Huantar and published it as Pourretia gigantea in El Peru, Volume 1, Page 297 Puya. Una espinosa realidad (Puya. One Thorny Reality) (Spanish) . In 1928 the name was changed to Puya Raimondii Harms by the German botanists Hermann Harms (1870-1942).
This plant is a gigantic inflorescence. It reaches up to 10 m height, with more than three thousand flowers and six million seeds in each plant. Its biological cycle is approximately 40 years.
One planted near sea level at the University of California's Botanical Garden, Berkeley, USA, in 1958 grew to 7,6 m (24 ft 11) in and bloomed as early as August 1986 after only 28 years. It is not only the largest of the Puya species, but also the largest Bromeliad. It can reach 3 m tall in vegetative growth, with a flower spike 9-10 m tall. Like most Bromeliads, it dies soon after flowering. It is considered to be an endangered species. Seeds were collected of P. raimondii in 1999 and 2000 of the rodales of Huashta Cruz .
Only 45km West from Caraz (Ancash - Peru) at 4200m above sea level, at Huashta Cruz, on the Cordillera Negra, there is a "rodal" of Puyas, with an impressive 145km view of the Cordillera Blanca. The place it's known as "Huinchus" as the presence of the (Patagona Gigas) giant colibri, it's often spotted here. In the area of Catac in Peru there are lots of the famous Puyas Raimondi. On August 10th 2009, these plants were clearly shown signs of an imminent blooming stage. These plants are mainly located in the spacious forests from three important places of Ancash: the gully of Ingenio in Catac, the punas of Cajamarquilla and the gully of Queshque, also in Catac.
In Bolivia - apart from Vacas Municipality where these plants are spread on an area of about 1 km - the only other place to find the Puya Raimondi is Comanche mountain in Caquiaviri Canton, Caquiaviri Municipality, Pacajes Province, La Paz Department La Puya Raimondi se nos muere (Our Puya Raimondi is Dying) (Spanish) .
Guided Tours to see Puya Raimondii in Peru
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Puya raimondii