Definitions

alstroemeria pelegrina

Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria (syn. Alstremeria), commonly called the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas, is a South American genus of about 50 species of flowering plants. Almost all of the species are restricted to one of two distinct centers of diversity, one in central Chile, the other in eastern Brazil. Species of Alstroemeria from Chile are winter-growing plants while those of Brazil are summer-growing. All are long-lived perennials except A. (Taltalia) graminea, a diminutive annual from the Atacama Desert of Chile.

The genus was named for the Swedish baron Clas Alströmer (Claus von Alstroemer) by his close friend Carolus Linnaeus. The plant was first described by the French botanist Louis Feuillée. The plant's seeds were among many collected by Alströmer on a trip to South America in 1753.

The plants are distinctive vegetatively, with a rootstock consisting of a slender rhizome or group of rhizomes (the "crown"). Storage roots consist of sausage-like water storing structures "suspended" from the rhizome by major roots. In this way the root system resembles that of dahlias. Above-ground shoots may be very short in some alpine Andean species (a few cm tall) or up to about 1.5 m tall in other species. Each year (more often in some hybrids) up to 80 new shoots are produced from the rootstock and each terminates in an umbel of a few up to 10 or so flowers.

Perhaps the most fascinating- and telltale- morphological trait of Alstroemeria and its relatives is the fact that the leaves are resupinate, that is, they twist from the base so that what appears to be the upper leaf surface is in fact the lower leaf surface. This very unusual botanical feature is easily observed in the leaves on cut flowers from the florist.

The flowers of Alstroemeria are generally showy and appear to be suited to pollination by bees (?). All six tepals (tepal denotes either petal or sepal when both are similar, as in lilies, amaryllis, etc.) are roughly similar. In some species two tepals are enlarged and vividly colored and act as "flags" for pollination. The ovary is inferior and the seeds are hard and rounded.

See also Bomarea, the other major genus in the Alstroemeriaceae. They are essentially twining alstroemerias (though some species are upright), with most species occurring in the Andes.Selected species

  • Alstroemeria aurea - Lily of the Incas.
  • Alstroemeria aurantiaca - Peruvian Lily (synonym of Alstroemeria aurea Graham, 1833
  • Alstroemeria caryophyllaea - Brazilian Lily
  • Alstroemeria haemantha - Purplespot Parrot Lily (synonym of Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. ligtu)
  • Alstroemeria ligtu - Lily-of-the-Nile
  • Alstroemeria psittacina - Lily of the Incas, White-edged Peruvian Lily (synonym of Alstroemeria pulchella, L.]
  • Alstroemeria pulchella - Parrot Lily, Parrot Flower, Red Parrot Beak, New Zealand Christmas Bell

Cultivation and uses

Many hybrids and about 190 cultivars have been developed, with different markings and colors, ranging from white, golden yellow, orange, to apricot, pink, red, purple and lavender. The most popular and showy hybrids commonly grown today result from crosses between species from Chile (winter-growing) with species from Brazil (summer-growing). This strategy has overcome the problem of seasonal dormancy and resulted in plants that are evergreen or nearly so and flower for most of the year. This breeding work derives mainly from trials that began in the United States in the 1980s. The flower, which resembles a miniature lily, is very popular for bouquets and flower arrangements in the commercial cut flower trade. They have a vase life of about two weeks. It is sometimes called 'Ulster Mary' (as a word corruption).

Other accepted names

  • ''Alstroemeria achirae
  • Alstroemeria altoparadisea
  • Alstroemeria amabilis
  • Alstroemeria amazonica
  • Alstroemeria andina
  • *Alstroemeria andina subsp. andina
  • *Alstroemeria andina subsp. venustula
  • Alstroemeria angustifolia
    • Alstroemeria angustifolia subsp. angustifolia
    • Alstroemeria angustifolia subsp. velutina
  • Alstroemeria annapolina
  • Alstroemeria apertiflora
  • Alstroemeria aquidauanica
  • Alstroemeria arnicana
  • Alstroemeria aulica
  • Alstroemeria aurea
  • Alstroemeria bahiensis
  • Alstroemeria bakeri
  • Alstroemeria bilabiata
  • Alstroemeria brasiliensis
  • Alstroemeria burchellii
  • Alstroemeria cabralensis
  • Alstroemeria caiaponica
  • Alstroemeria cantillanica
  • Alstroemeria capixaba
  • Alstroemeria caryophyllaea
  • Alstroemeria chapadensis
  • Alstroemeria chorillensis
  • Alstroemeria crispata
  • Alstroemeria cuiabana
  • Alstroemeria cultrifolia
  • Alstroemeria cunha
  • Alstroemeria decora
  • Alstroemeria diluta
  • Alstroemeria diluta subsp. chrysantha
  • Alstroemeria diluta subsp. diluta
  • Alstroemeria discolor
  • Alstroemeria douradensis
  • Alstroemeria espigonensis
  • Alstroemeria exserens
  • Alstroemeria fiebrigiana
  • Alstroemeria firmulifolia
  • Alstroemeria foliosa
  • Alstroemeria fuscovinosa
  • Alstroemeria garaventae
  • Alstroemeria gardneri
  • Alstroemeria glaucandra
  • Alstroemeria gouveiana
  • Alstroemeria graminea
  • Alstroemeria hookeri
    • Alstroemeria hookeri subsp. cummingiana
    • Alstroemeria hookeri subsp. hookeri
    • Alstroemeria hookeri subsp. maculata
  • Alstroemeria huemulina
  • Alstroemeria ibitipocae
  • Alstroemeria igarapavica
  • Alstroemeria inodora
  • Alstroemeria isabellana
  • Alstroemeria itabiritensis
  • Alstroemeria itatiaica
  • Alstroemeria jequitiana
  • Alstroemeria jocunda
  • Alstroemeria julieae
  • Alstroemeria kingii
  • Alstroemeria lactilutea
  • Alstroemeria landimana
  • Alstroemeria leporina
  • Alstroemeria ligtu
    • Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. incarnata
    • Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. ligtu
    • Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. simsii
    • Alstroemeria ligtu subsp. splendens
  • Alstroemeria litterata
  • Alstroemeria longaviensis
  • Alstroemeria longistaminea
  • Alstroemeria longistyla
  • Alstroemeria lutea
  • Alstroemeria magna
  • Alstroemeria magnifica
    • Alstroemeria magnifica subsp. gayana
    • Alstroemeria magnifica subsp. magenta
    • Alstroemeria magnifica subsp. magnifica
    • Alstroemeria magnifica subsp. maxima
    • Alstroemeria magnifica subsp. tofoensis
  • Alstroemeria malmeana
  • Alstroemeria modesta
  • Alstroemeria mollensis
  • Alstroemeria monantha
  • Alstroemeria monticola
  • Alstroemeria nidularis
  • Alstroemeria nivea
  • Alstroemeria ochracea
  • Alstroemeria orchidioides
  • Alstroemeria oreas
  • Alstroemeria pallida
  • Alstroemeria patagonica
  • Alstroemeria paupercula
  • Alstroemeria pelegrina
  • Alstroemeria penduliflora
  • Alstroemeria philippii
  • Alstroemeria piauhyensis
  • Alstroemeria plantaginea
  • Alstroemeria poetica
  • Alstroemeria polpaicana
  • Alstroemeria polyphylla
  • Alstroemeria presliana
    • Alstroemeria presliana subsp. australis
    • Alstroemeria presliana subsp. presliana
    • Alstroemeria pseudospathulata
  • Alstroemeria pubiflora
  • Alstroemeria pudica
  • Alstroemeria pulchella
  • Alstroemeria pulchra
  • * Alstroemeria pulchra subsp. lavandulacea
  • * Alstroemeria pulchra subsp. pulchra
  • Alstroemeria punctata
  • Alstroemeria pygmaea
  • Alstroemeria radula
  • Alstroemeria recumbens
  • Alstroemeria revoluta
  • Alstroemeria ribeirensis
  • Alstroemeria roseoviridis
  • Alstroemeria rupestris
  • Alstroemeria sabulosa
  • Alstroemeria schizanthoides
  • Alstroemeria sellowiana
  • Alstroemeria spathulata
  • Alstroemeria speciosa
  • Alstroemeria spectabilis
  • Alstroemeria stenopetala
  • Alstroemeria talcaensis
  • Alstroemeria timida
  • Alstroemeria tombolatoana
  • Alstroemeria umbellata
  • Alstroemeria variegata
  • Alstroemeria venusta
  • Alstroemeria versicolor
  • Alstroemeria virginalis
  • Alstroemeria viridiflora
  • Alstroemeria werdermannii
    • Alstroemeria werdermannii var. flavicans
    • Alstroemeria werdermannii var. werdermannii
  • Alstroemeria xavantinensis
  • Alstroemeria yaelae
  • Alstroemeria zoelneri

References

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