'Sheep-eating' plant set to bloom in U.K.

Published On: Jun 25 2013 12:12:37 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 25 2013 12:33:57 AM EDT

A South American plant believed to kill animals with its spikes is set to bloom for the first time since it was planted in England 15 years ago.

The Puya chilensis blossoms annually in its native Chile, but this is the first time it will show its greenish-yellow flowers at the Royal Horticulture Society's garden in Wiley.

The plant, which emits a "gruesome scent," uses a towering spire of spikes to trap sheep and other animals for food.

Once impaled, the animals slowly starve to death and decompose at the bottom of the plant, acting as a fertilizer, BBC News reported.

Understandably, garden staff have switched to a more family-friendly way of feeding the rare plant -- liquid fertilizer.

"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," horticulturalist Cara Smith said in a press release on the RHS website.

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