Alstroemeria, also known as Peruvian Lily, is a genus of about60 species of perennials in the family Alstroemeriaceae, native to South America.
This tropical beauty has long stems bearing attractive, trumpet-shaped flowers in a wide range of colors. The flower is composed of 3 petals and 3 sepals, similar in color and texture, giving the appearance of a six-petaled flower.
The genus was named after the Swedish Baron Claus von Alstromer (1736 – 1794), who discover it.
The plant is often mistaken for miniature lilies, hence the common name “Peruvian Lily”
Alstroemeria represents wealth, prosperity, fortune, friendship and devotion.
Interesting facts about Alstroemeria:
Is Peruvian lily poisonous?
Peruvian lilies can cause allergic contact dermatitis by contact with recently damaged plants. Skin contact may result in allergic reactions or health problems for individuals, especially gardeners and florists. The sap of the plant contains the chemical compound Tuliposide A, which causes dermatitis in sensitive people. The first case reports of allergic contact dermatitis appeared early in the 1970s.
It helps to wear plastic or nitrile gloves when working with these plants. Vinyl gloves are not so helpful since chemical compounds can penetrate through these gloves.
Benefits and Uses
Peruvian lily is one of the mostpopular cut flower and one of the best-selling flower worldwide.
It can last for up to two weeks if properly cared for.
The flowers come in various colors, from orange, pink, rose, purple, red to yellow and white.
The species range from dwarf species (20 cm or 8 inches tall) to the larger varieties that grow up to 120 cm or 4 ft in height.
The plant grows best in fertile, moist and well drained soil which is neutral or slightly acidic.