Home / Funny / Viral / Sapphire Coloured Plant Blooms For The First Time In Over 2 Decades


A lot of lovely things turn out to be well worth the wait. The Sapphire Tower plant is one of these, especially among the slow-moving wonders of nature. This large plant grows up to 2,200 meters (about 7,218 feet) in elevation and is native to the foothills of the Chilean mountains. Worldwide, greenhouses and botanical gardens are home to specimens of it, one of which is located at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens in the United Kingdom. After 20 years of housing their Sapphire Tower plant, The Gardens recently announced the exciting and unusual event of the turquoise flowers blooming.

Puya alpestris, a species of plant in the bromeliad family, is the scientific name for the Sapphire Tower plant. In the wild, these plants typically take up to ten years to flower. Senior glasshouse horticulturist Alberto Trinco of the Gardens says in a statement, "It is very slow-growing, so to witness its spectacular blooms is both exciting and rare." In the wild, the flowers usually draw hummingbirds, which are important pollinators for the plant. But for pollination, the specimen in the Gardens' Arid Glasshouse needed a different solution. With a tiny paintbrush, the Gardens began manually pollinating the flowers.

The reason this process is exclusive to humans is that the plant will soon die after flowering. According to Trinco, "Each flower only lasts a few days, giving us a limited window of time to help nature." 

Visitors can only view the blooms in the Gardens for a very short period of time, so it's best to check to see if they're still open before going. It is unlikely that another blossoming will happen until 2034. Similar to a solar eclipse, it's an uncommon and unique sight to see. If you have the opportunity to visit the Gardens, make sure to explore their other impressive flora and enjoy a cup of tea at the tearoom in honour of the Sapphire Tower plant. 

"We will try some hand pollination instead of relying on its natural pollinators. Hopefully, using the brush to pollinate the flowers and obtain seeds will allow us to secure the presence of this amazing species in our collection for future generations to come and admire," the gardening expert continues.

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