Rare 'sheep-eating' plant blooms in Britain

A South American plant that is famous for ensnaring and killing sheep to feed off their carcasses has blossomed on a campsite in Cornwall.

The bristling puya chilensis plant, which is known for catching sheep in its native homeland in central Chile, flowers only every 15 to 20 years, the Royal Horticultural Society said.

Ron Lyne with the rare Puya Chilensis 'sheep-eating' plant growing on his land.
Ron Lyne with the rare Puya Chilensis 'sheep-eating' plant growing on his land. Credit: SWNS

Its sharp barbs are known for entangling sheep, which then starve to death. The plant is believed to then feed off the rich ‘fertiliser’ of the decomposing animals.

Ron Lyne, who discovered the bloom at his campsite, Henry’s, at The Lizard, south Cornwall, said: “I planted it about 15 years ago so this is the first chance it’s had to flower."

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