Botanical Name and Pronunciation:
Peruvian Lily, Lily of the Incas
most colors except blue, including red, white, pink, yellow, purple, orange
Form and Size:
Its blooms are trumpet-shaped and cluster loosely. There are often multiple blooms per stem. Some compare the look of alstroemeria to a small lily or a bell. Its petals are mostly freckled.
7 – 14 days
Cut stems under water and place in fresh water with flower food. Remove any whitish or blanched portions on the bottom of the stem. This will enhance the intake of water and flower food. Unlike other flowers, removing excess foliage from alstroemeria can result in a reduction of vase life if there are not enough flowers present to aid in water and flower food intake. One should be careful when handling it, as ingestion may cause minor illness. Also, those who handle it frequently may contract dermatitis.
History and Usage:
A member of the Liliaceae (lily) family, its scientific name comes from Baron Claus Alstroemer (1736-1794) because he brought seeds to Europe from the South American Andes. In more recent years, alstroemeria has become popular as a cut flower. It goes well in a bud vase, as there are many blooms on each stem. The blooms are often in different stages of development, which makes for a long vase life of up to two weeks. In addition, alstroemeria goes well in mixed floral arrangements, as its leafy stem provides fullness.
Points of Interest:
Alstroemeria was once thought to be a member of the amaryllis family. It was thought to be related to agapanthus, daffodil, onion, clivia and lycoris. Alstroemeria was nicknamed the “friendship” flower.