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Unearthly-looking Sapphire Tower blooms at San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas

The South American wonder will continue to flower for several weeks.


Last updated 5/7/2019 at 11:14am

Rachel Cobb photo

ENCINITAS – Characterized by unearthly, metallic-looking, deep turquoise blooms that are punctuated by bright orange anthers, the Puya alpestris, commonly known as the Sapphire Tower, looks like nothing else in the plant world.

The striking flower that often causes visitors to say "Is this real?" is now in bloom at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. A native plant of South America, the Chilean species is a member of the pineapple family with flowers measuring 2 inches across with a number of the blossoms blooming up an 18-inch spike or tower over a 2-3 week time frame.

This year...

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