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The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Puya coerulea Lindl. var. violacea (Brongn.) L.B.Sm. & Looser

  1. Classified in >
  2. genus: Puya >
  3. Family: Bromeliaceae

Place of Publication

Phytologia 19: 287 (1970)

Type citation

Based on Pitcairnia violacea Brongn. “Paris Hort., s.loc., Mar 1847” (holotype: P, n.v.).


Common names

  • chagual chico
  • chagualillo
  • pilpolle.

Conservation status

  • Vulnerable (Zizka et al. (2009))


  • Smith & Downs (1974)
  • Zizka et al. (2013)


Perennial with a dense rosette of leaves, flowering stems from 1-2.7 m tall. Flowers from December to March.

Key characteristics

The following key to the varieties of P. coerulea has been adapted from Zizka et al. (2013)

+ Flower bracts shorter than the flowers stalk = var. violacea

+ Flower bracts about as long as or longer than the flowers stalks

+ Flower bracts exceeding the middle of the sepals = var. coerulea

+ Flower bracts shorter than the middle of the sepals.

+ Inflorescence densely & persistently white-tomentose = var. intermedia

+ Inflorescence hairless during flowering = var. monteroana


Del General Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins, Maule and Biobío

Distribution and habitat

Distributed Termas de Cauquenes (Regions O'Higgins) to the Chillán valley (Region Biobio) between 400 and 1200 metres above sea level. It grows on rocky outcrops amongst sclerophyllous vegetation.


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  • Brongniart (1847)

    Brongniart, A.T. 1847. Annales de Flore et de Pomone 3(1):

  • Smith (1970)

    Smith, L.B. 1970. Notes on Bromeliaceae, XXX. Phytologia 19: 281-290

  • Smith & Downs (1974)

    Smith, L.B. and Downs, R.J. 1974. Flora Neotropica Monograph 14 Pitcairnioideae (Bromeliaceae)

  • 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

  • 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.