Website technical difficulties
See all stories
20 Jun 2018

A rare sight at Inverewe

Written by Jacky Brookes
Volunteer Jet Mort measuring the asparagus-like plant
Volunteer Jet Mort measuring the asparagus-like plant
It’s astonishing what you come across in one of the most northerly corners of the Scottish Highlands.

Inverewe, an award-winning heritage garden containing species from across the globe and created from a barren wilderness in the 19th century, is soon to witness an event that happens only once every seven years.

An asparagus-like plant has sprung into life near the end of the main drive by Inverewe House and is growing … and growing … and growing! Head Gardener Kevin Ball expects it to flower in the next few weeks. It measured 164cm tall on 8 June and has grown even more in the last week.

First gardener Kevin Doidge talks about the flowering of the Puya alpestris.

This fascinating plant is a Puya alpestris. It’s a type of bromeliad (in the same family as a pineapple) native to the Andes of South America and southern Central America, where it can reach up to 9m in height. The name Puya was derived from the Mapuche word meaning ‘point’. Here at Inverewe it’s grown as an ornamental plant and produces a clump of grey-green, spiky-edged leaves and, occasionally, a spike containing many flowers. The flowers are an unusual jade/teal colour with orange pollen.

So, come along and visit Inverewe to see this rare beauty. The garden is open every day from 9.30am until 6pm, with two cafés to relax in after your walk. We offer free guided walks every day (except Sunday) at 1.30pm from the Visitor Centre, and there’s a great Plant Sale section with the Head Gardener’s Choice available each day.

It’s a gardener’s dream!

The Puya alpestris is now in flower for the first time in 11 years and will flower for at least a week. If the weather cools it may continue to flower for up to 10 days.

Explore Inverewe

Visit now