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Author Topic: Puya compacta at Cajas N. Park, Ecuador, near Cuenca  (Read 553 times)
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Scottinsandiego
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« on: October 29, 2011, 05:27:22 »

I liked the cloud forests, but hiking the high paramo at Cajas national park was one of our highlights a few weeks ago when we were in Ecuador.  At over 3,000 meters, we were above the tree line, except for some Polylepsis trees that grew in protected places.  The dominant plant visually is Puya compacta, which is often quite bronzy.  It grows in thick meadows with alpine flowers and a heavy cover of Calamagrostis grass, which is a popular "ornamental grass" in modern gardens.

Here's a closeup of P. compacta:
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Here's a "spent" flower:
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Feel free to let me know if my i.d. isn't right.
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Rickta66
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 13:40:38 »

Scott,

That photo makes me want to grow one - how big is it?

It's probably not that common here.

Rick
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paul_t23
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2011, 22:44:33 »

Hi Scott,

Great plant and great pics.  I just love that countryside, thanks for sharing it.

Cheers, Paul
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378
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2011, 00:18:33 »

That's a nice looking Puya. Anybody know if it will grow in the USA? If you send me some seeds I'll give it a go.
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Scottinsandiego
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2011, 18:54:55 »

The Puya that I saw and photographed in the posting, p. Compacta, grows to be about a meter in diameter more or less.  This is "compact" for a Puya I assume.  It was growing at treelike, for goodness sake.  Though it was not far from the equator, I imagine that it dips to below the freezing point at night.  And the equatorial sun is quite intense.  The day we were hiking, it was on-and-off cloudy, so I forgot sunscreen.  Mistake!  So I think that the cool yet intense sun of the growing environment would make it a challenge to replicate in cultivation, but it is always worth a try.
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