At Green Team Interiors, we are always on the look-out for interesting and unusual plants and the Puya chilensis certainly meets our weird and wonderful criteria!

The giant South American plant, with a 10ft (3m) tall flower spike is about to bloom in a glasshouse for the first time since it was planted 15 years ago.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at Wisley said the Puya chilensis would bloom in the next few days and last about a week.

In its natural habitat of the Andes, the Puya chilensis snares sheep and other animals in its razor-sharp spines. The animals then decay at the base of the plant, acting as a fertiliser.

Very few specimens have been known to flower in the UK and the plant is becoming increasingly rare in its native Chile because shepherds have been setting the plants alight to protect their flocks.

Cara Smith, who looks after the plant at the RHS Garden said; “I’m really pleased that we’ve finally coaxed our Puya chilensis into flower. We keep it well fed with liquid fertiliser, as feeding it on its natural diet might prove a bit problematic. It’s well worth a visit but parents coming along with small children don’t need to worry about the plant devouring their little ones. It’s growing in the arid section of our Glasshouse with its deadly spines well out of reach of both children and sheep alike.