Gardeners have been eagerly anticipating the blooming of a mystery plant in a Salcombe garden - because only when it flowers will it reveal its true identity.

The plant, known as a Puya, originates from Chile and can take over 10 years to flower. The flower spike began to emerge in February and has now grown to 12 feet tall, with the flowers ready to emerge at any minute.   The team at the National Trust’s Overbeck’s Garden in Salcombe, Devon are looking forward to seeing the flower revealed.

Head Gardener, Chris Groves says: “We already have one fantastic Puya plant growing in the garden that is about to flower, but we also have this second plant that's going to flower and when it does, we'll finally find out after 12 years if it's a different species.’ 

“Our records suggest that the mystery Puya could be Puya x bertoniana, which has the most incredible turquoise-blue flowers, but we'll only find out once the flowers open. If the flowers are more of a lime green then we'll know it's the same as our other plant Puya chilensis. Either way, it will be great to solve the mystery.” 

Puya is a member of the pineapple family. In its native country of Chile, birds drink the plentiful nectar from its cup shaped flowers, which helps pollinate it. This plant may also have a more sinister side. The inward facing barbs on the leaves are extremely sharp and some report that birds or small mammals can become entangled, providing welcome nutrition to assist the plant’s growth.