Alstroemeria flowers are also known as Lily of the Incas or Peruvian Lily, although it is not actually a lily. Yet another name for alstroemeria is Ulster Mary. The genus of alstroemeria has around 120 species of flowering plants. The French botanist, Louis Feuillee was the first to describe this plant in the 1700s.
These flowers have many different hybrid forms, about 190 types are recorded. The colors are numerous which include lavender, red, apricot, golden yellow, orange, pink and purple. Extensive breeding was done in the US in the 1980s. As this flower has a vase life of almost 3 weeks, it is very popular for use as cut flowers which are sold commercially.
These flowers are natives of South America, and most commonly grown in Central Chile and Eastern Brazil. The Chilean species grow in the winter but the Brazilian species grows in the summer. They are all perennials except graminea which is an annual and is found in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
Alstroemeria Flower Meaning and Symbolism
Alstroemeria is assumed to symbolize the ever-lasting beauty of commitment, care, friendship and devotion. There are others however, who claim that this flower symbolizes fortune, prosperity and wealth.
Facts about Alstroemeria
- This flower is named after the person who discovered it, Baron Claus von Altromer, a baron from Sweden who gathered the seeds while visiting Spain in the year 1753. He was a pupil of the renowned botanist, Linnaeus.
- A special morphological feature of this plant is that the leaves grow upside down and the leaf twists as it grows, with a result that the top of the leaf faces downwards.
- The plants grow from two to three feet in height.
- These flowers are devoid of fragrance.
- Alstroemeria is a bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic) flower having 3 striped petals and 3 petals.
- The sepals and petals have the same color.
- If the temperature of the soil increases, then the plants start generating tuberous roots and this can even lead to a halt in production of flowers.
- Alstroemeria flowers usually last one to two weeks.
- Each plant can bear 3 to 7 flowers.
- These plants bear flowers throughout the year, but the peak seasons are in spring and autumn.
Cultivation of Alstroemeria
- Alstroemeria needs abundant sunlight and the soil should be well-drained.
- A mild dose of organic fertilizer should be applied to the planting hole.
- The plants should be placed as deep as they would have been had they been growing in containers (about an inch deep in the soil).
- The plants should be planted at a distance of 1 foot from each other.
- The soil should be well-watered at all times.
- The old stems of the flowers should be cut by an instrument known as “bypass pruners”.
- Gardening guides can be used, which are available in bookstores or can be referred to on the internet.