Puya is a very large genus of bromeliad, both in number of species and in size of plant. The genus includes the world’s largest species of bromeliad the Puya ramondii which grows up to 30 feet tall and 9 feet across. There are about 199 species within the Puya genus.Puyas are hardy because of where they grow naturally. They are found in the high elevations of the Andes Mountains throughout South America. Only two species found in Costa Rica are not included in the South American range. In this region the climate is typically dry and temperatures can drop below freezing. Puyas must be hardy to thrive in such extreme climates.Unlike most bromeliads Puyas are terrestrial, growing in the ground instead of growing as epiphytes in trees. They have roots that take up nutrients and water from the soil as opposed to the air.