Although alstroemeria are a relative newcomer on the cut flower scene, it is now a very popular cut flower, rated #7 on the Dutch Auction Houses, due to its stem length, range of colours and long life.
Long stems up to 90 cm are topped with several (usually 5 to 10) lily-shaped flowers arranged in a circular pattern at the top. Flowers have black or dark brown spots or stripes and come in a range of colours: yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, lavender, and white. Leaves are pointed and dark green. Large breeders include Hilverda (Holland), Konst Alstroemeria (Holland) and Van Staaveren (Holland). Check these breeders’ websites for more information.
Alstroemeria is most commonly grown in glasshouses in areas east of Melbourne and west of Sydney.
What to look for
- Buds need to be fully expanded and coloured, with at least one flower per floret open;
- Avoid bunches with yellow leaves.
- Keep cool at all times. Alstroemeria do not need to be refrigerated, but need to be kept out of direct sunlight.
- Wear gloves. This flower can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
- Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in water immediately.
- Always use a preservative as this will help buds open and keep open flowers looking fresh.
- Replace vase water with fresh preservative every day.
- This flower is ethylene sensitive. Keep them away from fruit, car exhausts and cigarette smoke.
Interesting Facts about this Flower
Alstroemeria was named after Baron Claus von Alstroemer by his close friend Carolus (Carl) Linnaeus, the famous botanist who invented the Linnaean classification system we still use today. The plant’s seeds were among many collected by Alstroemer on a trip to South America in 1753.
Botanical Name: Alstoemeria aurantiaca
Common Names: Lily of the Incas, Peruvian Lily
Stem Length: 30 to 90 cm
Country of Origin: South America: Peru, Chile, Brazil
Available Colours: Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow