The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Puya boliviensis Baker

Place of Publication

Handb. Bromel.: 126 (1889)

Type citation

Chile, Region II: Antofagasta, Cobija, Jul 1836, C. Gaudichaud s.n. (holotype: P; isotypes: B, F, US).



  • Philippi R.A. (1895b)

    Philippi, R.A. 1895b. Plantas nuevas Chilenas de las familais que corresponden al tomo V de la obra de Gay. Anales de la Universidad de Chile 91: 5-47, 105-160, 243-275, 415-432, 487-526, 607-635

  • Zizka et al. (2013)

    Zizka, G. , Schneider, J.V. , Schulte, K. and Novoa, P. 2013. Taxonomic revision of the Chilean Puya species (Puyoideae, Bromeliaceae), with special notes on the Puya alpestris-Puya berteroniana species complex. Brittonia 65 (4), 387-407.

  • Zizka et al. (2009)

    Zizka , G. , Schmidt, M. , Schulte, K. , Nova, P. , Pinto, R. and König, K. 2009. Chilean Bromeliaceae: diversity, distribution and evaluation of conservation status. Biodiversity and Conservation 18: 2449-2471

  • Baker (1889)

    Baker, J.G. 1889. Handbook of the Bromeliaceae. G. Bell & Sons, London


  • Grau & Zizka (1992): Fig. 96


Antofagasta and Atacama


Desert and Desert fog oases (Lomas)

Distribution and habitat

Restricted to northern Chile in Region Antofagasta (22°30’–26°S), with an upper altitude of 670 m. It occurs on rocky outcrops in hyper-arid areas of the coastal cordillera (Zizka et al., 2013).


  • Puya boliviensis Baker
    • Puya boliviensis Baker
      • Puya boliviensis Baker

Conservation status

  • Endangered (Zizka et al. (2009))


  • Zizka et al. (2013)


Perennial with a dense rosette, flowering stems 1–2 m tall. Flowers from November to February.

Key characteristics

The distribution of P. boliviensis does not overlap with any other Chilean Puya species therefore identification is straightforward. Morphologically it resembles P. chilensis and P. gilmartiniae. From the former it differs by having a shorter inflorescence with c. 20 lateral branches (P. chilensis has 80 or more) and from the latter, by the larger flowers (4.5–6 cm long compared to about 3 cm in P. gilmartiniae). The leaf blades are glabrous above (Zizka et al., 2013).


Seed of this species is banked by the national seed bank of Chile, INIA.