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The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Puya gilmartiniae G.S.Varad. & A.R.Flores

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

Place of Publication

Bromeliad Soc. 40(4): 161 (1990)

Type citation

“Chile. Region IV (La Serena): Prov. Elqui, about 60 km north of La Serena, on the way to Puerta Totorallilo, near El Oliva, Isla Tilago, 29°16’S, 71°17’W; alt. 50 m; May 22,1987, G.S.and Usha Varadarajan, A. Peñaloza, and A. Flores 1481” (holotype: GH; isotypes: MO, WS n.v.).

Conservation status

  • Critically Endangered (Zizka et al. (2009))


  • Varadarajan & Flores (1990): Fig.6
  • Flores & Watson (2000): pages 87, 90, 91


    • Varadarajan & Flores (1990)
    • Flores & Watson (2000)


    Perennial plant to 1.5 m tall with a compact rosette of leaves. Flowers August to September.

    Key characteristics

    Closely related to P. boliviensis and P. chilensis both of which also have yellow flowers. However, it can easily be distinguished from both species by its leaves which are covered with dense woolly hairs especially along the margins and the bases of the spines. The leaves of P. gilmartiniae are arching and smaller, 50-60 x c. 2.5 cm, instead of erect and c. 100 x 5-6 cm. as found in P. boliviensis and P. chilensis.



    Distribution and habitat

    A narrow endemic with a discontinuous distribution in Region Coquimbo from 20 to 100 metres above sea level. Coastal matorral within the fog zone. Associated shrubs include: Baccharis vernalis, Flourensia thurifera, Fuchsia lycioides, Ophyrosprus triangularis and Oxalis gigantea (Flores, 1980).


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


    • Flores (1980)

      Flores, A. R. 1980. Las especies del género Puya Mol. en la Cuarta Region, Coquimbo. Thesis, Universidad de Chile. 85 pp.

    • Varadarajan & Flores (1990)

      Varadarajan, G.S. and Flores, A. 1990. Novelties of Puya Molina (Pitcairnioideae), II: A New Species from Chile. Bromeliad Society 40(4): 161-165

    • Flores & Watson (2000)

      Flores, A. and Watson, J. 2000. Notes on Puya gilmartiniae and Puya coquimbensis. The New Plantsman 7(2): 87-94

    • 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.