ALSTROEMERIACEAE – Alstroemeria – Alstroemeria caryophyllaea – Alstroemeria hybrids – Alstroemeria psittacina


Alstroemeria family

Alstroemeriaceae includes 5 genera of rhizomatous and tuberous herbs from the Andes and Central America. They are plants of montane tropical regions, generally preferring moderate temperatures. Leavers are on a stem. Secondary veins run parallel to the midvein. A  twist in the  petiole in verts the leaf blade. Flowers have 3 petal – like  sepals and 3 petals. The sepals are larger than the petals. They develop from the apex of the leafy stem, helping to distinguish this family from the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae, which bears flowers on separate, leafless stalks.


Alstroemeria includes approximately 50  species of seasonally dormant perennial herbs from South America. They are found primarily in cool montane regions. When plants are dorman, the fleshy rootss should be protected from freezing with a thick layer of mulch. Where they are not hardy, tubers can be stored in doors in winter. Alstroemerias prefer even moisture during active growth. Taper off watering after plants flower until they become dormant and then withhold watering until new growth begins the next season. Growing alstroemerias for the cut flower trade is an important industry, especially in Andean countries and Europe. The sap may be irritating to the skin.

Alstroemeria caryophyllaea

Brazil. Seasonally dormant herb to 2 ft, zones 8-9. Blooms late winter, spring. Seasonally moist/dry. Average, well drained soil. Full to part sun. Flowers: bilaterally symmetrical, petals slender, not overlapping, narrowing to a short tube at the base, white with blood red tips, opening a few at a time, inflorescence terminal on the leaf stalk. Leaves: narrowly lanceolate, inverted blade, to 4 in.long, in whorls around the stemss.

Alstroemeria hybrids

Peruvian lily, lily – of the incas Garden origin. Seasonally dormant perennial herbs to 2 ft, zones 8-9. Bloom summer, fall. Seasonally moist/dry. Average, well drained soil. Part sun to bright filtered light. Flowers: funnel – shaped, lobes flaring, tepals variously tinted, 2-3 in. wide, inflorescence a 3 to 6 flowered umbel. Leaves: lanceolate, to 4 in.long, blade inverted, gray – green. These hybrids of mountain heritage prefer mild temperatures. A wide range of colors has been developed by the floral industry. Perents include A. pelegrina, A. ligtu, A haemantha, and A.aurea.

Alstroemeria psittacina

 Peruvian lily, christmas bell

Synonym: A. inodora. Brazil, Seasonally dormant perennial herb to 3   ft, zones 8-10. Blooms spring summer. Seasonally moist/dry. Average, well drained soil. Part sun to bright filtered light.  Flowers: funnel- shaped, lobes more or less flaring green to greenish white, throat streaked with red or maroon, inflorescences 4 – to 6- flowered umbels, on wiry stems. Leaves: lanceolate to linear, 4- 6 in. long, blade inverted. The green – and red flowers open at Christmas time in the Southern Hemisphere. Self – seeding. Difficult to eradicate once introduced. A. pulchella is similar and possibly synonymous with this species.

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