Common name - Peruvian
2 to 3 feet.
Flowers of several colours
July and August.
A race of colourful lily-like perennials, natives
of tropical and sub-tropical South America of
which a number of species are hardy in Britain.
Although sun lovers, the more robust species grow
well under semi-shaded conditions.
Alstromeria aurantiaca has given rise to a number of improved
garden forms all producing bright orange flowers
borne on two-to three-feet stems.
Alstromeria lutea is a robust species with yellow flowers,
and Alstromeria chilensis varies from pale pink to bright
Alstromeria puctulla (syn. Psittacina) has tubular flowers
of red margined green.
Alstromeria ligtu var. angustifolia and its hybrids produce
large heads of flower from cream to rich peach,
apricot, salmon and rose.
Alstromeria haemantha has smaller flowers of deep red.
Alstromerias are easily grown in a deep sandy
soil and the roots should be planted six to nine
inches below the surface.
They require three years in which to become established.
Plant in October or early spring.
Propagation is by root division in the case of
the aurantiaca group, and by seed with the remainder.
A plant that in favourable conditions forms a
fine clump and produces in August lily-shaped
flowers, streaked in shades of orange, yellow,
red, green and black.
It is not strictly hardy, and should only be tried
by those who can command time and space.
It requires a deep and yet rather dry soil, and
should be planted deep – nine inches or
a foot – in the autumn, and left alone to
establish itself or otherwise.
Expect no flowers the first season; if it thrives,
it will improve with every summer.