Andes mountain range, in Bolivia and Peru
The plant is Puya raimondii, also known as queen of the Andes. It grows at between 3,0004,800 m (9,80015,700 ft) on shrubby and rocky slopes, although it has also been known to grow at near sea level in temperate climate. Its trunk can be 5 m (16 ft) tall, with a rosette of about two hundred linear leaves, up to 1.25 m (4 ft) long and about 8 cm (3 in) in width, the leaf spines reaching 1 cm (3/8 in) long. The whole plant may reach as much as 15 m (50 ft) tall. The Bromeliad family can be found in the Andean highlands, from northern Chile to Colombia, in the Sechura Desert of coastal Peru, in the cloud forests of Central and South America, in southern United States from southern Virginia to Florida to Texas, and in far southern Arizona. Various organisms take advantage of the pools of water trapped by bromeliads. A study of 209 plants from the Ecuadorian lowlands identified 11,219 animals, representing more than 300 distinct species, many of which are found only on bromeliads.