ALSTROMERIA – Common Name: PERUVIAN LILY
As the common name suggests, Alstromeria is native to South America and was named after Swedish botanist Baron Klas von Alstroemer. He collected seeds on a trip to Spain in 1753. Among which were the seeds of this South American flower.
Alstromeria stems grow from rhizomes (underground stems) that are temperature sensitive. Many growers use special soil-cooling techniques to cool these rhizomes and induce flower production.
Peru, Brazil and Chile were the first growers, however, it was the breeders in the UK and Holland who developed the huge range of hybrid varieties, all with quite different colors and markings.
Each stem of Alstromeria holds many delicate, lily-like blooms, thus the common name of “Peruvian Lily”. Alstromeria blossoms come in many shades of pink, salmon, orange, red, yellow, purple, lavender and white with dark flecks on the petals.
There are 4 different grades:
1.) Butterfly Super Plus: Stem length 90cm+ with a minimum 5 blooms per stem. The bloom size in bud is 2.5–3.5 cm, dependent upon variety.
2.) Super Select: Stem length 80cm with a minimum of 4 blooms per stem. The bloom size in bud is 2.5–3.0 cm, dependent upon variety.
3.) Select: Stem length 70cm with a minimum of 4 blooms per stem. The bloom size in bud is 2.5–3.0 cm, dependent upon variety.
4.) Fancy: Stem length 60cm with a minimum of 3 blooms per stem. The bloom size in bud is 2.5–3.0 cm, dependent upon variety.
When buying Alstromeria for creating arrangements I recommend that you buy Super Select Alstro because it has five blooms (compared to the three on the regular Alstro) – it will be worth your money in the end – even though it is more expensive, you can use one stem instead of two.
If buds appear too tight, put stems in deep, warm water to promote opening. These flowers may take 24 – 72 hours to fully open.
The leaves wilt before the flowers, so remove all foliage before putting in a vase or in an arrangement.
Alstromeria can be used with any theme:
* Use with elegant flowers or mix with pompons, mini carnations or carnations.
* Place in a clear vase with a large tapestry bow to show off colors and vibrancy.
* Use in an arrangement with German Statice and miniature poms to create a Victorian look.
* Alstromeria has a really long cut flower life and will last a long time in any arrangement.
Images courtesy of growerdirect.com