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Alstroemeria symbolizes friendship and devotion, and the twists in the flower symbolize the trials and tribulations of friendships.

alstro2 Alstroemeria, commonly called the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas or Parrot Lily is a South American genus of about 50 species of flowering plants, mainly from the cool, mountainous regions in the Andes.

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Alstroemeria flower is symbolic of wealth, prosperity and fortune. It is also the flower of friendship


Some Interesting Facts about Alstroemeria

  • Alstroemeria flowers bloom during late spring or early summer.
  • Alstroemeria come in orange, pink, rose, purple, red, yellow, white or salmon colors.
  • Alstroemeria is named after the Swedish botanist Klas von Alstroemer, who was a pupil of the great botanical classifier Linnaeus.
  • The genus Alstroemeria consists of about 50 species.
  • Most modern hybrid Alstroemeria plants are propagated in a laboratory.
  • Many hybrids and about 190 cultivars of Alstroemeria have been developed, with different markings and colors, ranging from white, golden yellow, orange; to apricot, pink, red, purple and lavender.
  • Alstroemeria flowers have no fragrance.
  • Alstroemeria flowers have a vase life of about two weeks.
  • Not all Alstroemeria have striped petals.
  • Alstroemeria stops producing flowers if they get too hot.

About the Alstromeria Flower and Plant

Alstroemeria is a slightly zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetrical) flower with 3 sepals and 3, generally, striped petals. The sepals and petals on the Alstroemeria are similar in color and texture – i.e., there are no solid green sepals. Alstroemeria has six stamens and an undivided style. The ovary on the Alstroemeria is inferior, with 3 carpels. Alstroemeria features a monocot plan of having floral parts in 3s.

Alstroemeria is more like grass where the veins go up the leaves but none branching across. This can also be seen in grasses, Irises and Lilies. Alstroemeria leaves are upside down. The leaf twists as it leaves the stem, so that the bottom is facing upwards.

If you look at an Alstroemeria stem you can sometimes see a spiral growth pattern on the stem. This is due to the production of new cells in a spiral sequence and this is the cause of the head moving the way it does.

If the soil temperature rises too high (above about 22 degrees Celsius) the Alstroemeria plant puts its effort into producing more large tuberous roots at the expense of flowering shoots. With some varieties this can lead to production of exclusively blind non-flowering stems and no flowers.

Some Species of Alstroemeria

  • Alstroemeria aurea – Lily of the Incas.
  • Alstroemeria aurantiaca – Peruvian Lily/Alstroemeria Princess Lily
  • Alstroemeria caryophyllacea – Brazilian Lily
  • Alstroemeria haemantha – Purplespot Parrot Lily
  • Alstroemeria ligtu – Lily-of-the-Nile
  • Alstroemeria psittacina – Lily of the Incas, White-edged Peruvian Lily/White Alstroemeria
  • Alstroemeria pulchella – Parrot Lily, Parrot Flower, Red Parrot Beak, New Zealand Christmas Bell

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Growing Alstroemerias

  • Plant Alstroemeria in full sun, in well-drained soil.
  • Add a light application of organic fertilizer to the planting hole.
  • Place the plants no deeper than they were growing in the containers.
  • Set the plants 1 foot apart.
  • Mulch around but not on top of the plants, with 3 inches of organic compost.
  • Water well until soil is completely moist.

Alstroemeria Plant Care

  • Cut off old flower stems with bypass pruners.
  • Mulch around but not on top of the plants in early spring, with 3 inches of organic compost.
  • Water well weekly until soil is completely moist especially summers, when there is no rain.

It is always handy for a gardener – novice or expert – to own a gardening guide. View books on gardening available online.