“Sheep-Eating” Plant Blooms in the UK

The plant ensnares sheep, other animals and turns them into its source of nourishment

By Laura Sinpetru on June 22nd, 2013 06:06 GMT

A so-called sheep-eating plant has recently bloomed in the UK, at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden.

The plant was brought to the Garden some 15 years ago, but it has never bloomed before. Those looking after it say that it has spent the past one and a half decade growing.

The plant, known to the scientific community as Puya chilensis, now measures about 10 feet (3.04 meters) in height, so there's no denying that all those years of developing were totally worth it.

More so since the plant also has some really impressive razor-sharp spines that are shaped like hooks to show off.

HuffPost reports that Puya chilensis gets its nickname (i.e. the sheep-eating plant) from its wacky feeding behavior.

Apparently, the plant waits for sheep or other animals of a similar size to walk past it, then uses its spines to ensnare them.

Since they can't break free of its embrace, the animals eventually die and begin to decompose. Their remains fertilize the soil around the plant, thus providing it with nourishment.

The species is native to Chile, but this particular specimen seems to have grown accustomed to life in the Garden's greenhouse.
So-called sheep-eating plants blooms in the UK
   So-called sheep-eating plants blooms in the UK
MORE ON THIS TOPIC
LATEST NEWS
HOT RIGHT NOW

10 Comments