Alstroemeria araucana Phil.
Alstroemeria aurantiaca D.Don
Alstroemeria chiloensis Phil.
Alstroemeria concolor Steud.
Alstroemeria mutabilis Kunze ex Kunth
Alstroemeria nivali Meyen
Alstroemeria peruviana Van Houtte
Alstroemeria pulchella H.Vilm.
Alstroemeria xanthina Phil.
Common Name: Peruvian Lily
Alstroemeria aurea is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing a cluster of upright stems 60 - 90cm tall from an underground, tuberous rootstock. The roots spread, forming in time quite a large clump of growth[
The plant is possibly harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is commonly grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its flowers.
The fresh sap of this plant can cause skin rashes in some people. The plant contains up to 2% of the compound tuliposide A, which probably hydrolizes on the skin to form the allergenic lactone tulipalin A. People who are allergic to the sap of tulips are very likely to also be sensitive to the sap of this plant[
S. America - southern and central Chile to southern Argentina
This is the hardiest member of the genus, tolerating temperatures down to between -10 and -15°c, especially if the roots are mulched in the winter[
]. Young plants are less hardy and are best given a protective mulch for their first winter or two[
Requires a fertile, moisture retentive well-drained soil and a warm situation in sun or semi-shade[
]. The plant appreciates shade from the sun at the hottest part of the day[
]. Another report says that it is easily grown in any soil in sun or part shade[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
]. Plants succeed in maritime gardens[
]. Plants have proved very tolerant of neglect on our trial grounds in Cornwall, one clump grew and thrived in rank grass for a number of years until increasing shade from trees began to reduce its vigour[
Somewhat intolerant of root disturbance[
], the roots are fleshy and brittle[
The plant can be rather invasive, spreading by means of thin fleshy roots[
Although no reports have been seen for this species, the root of many members of this genus are edible and a source of starch that is very nutritious. It is most likely that this species can be used in the same way[
Seed - best sown in individual pots in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe although seedlings can be transplanted successfully if they are moved with care whilst small. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hrs in warm water, warm stratify for 4 weeks at 25°c and then reduce the temperature to 10°c. Excising a small bit of the seed near the embryo after the seed has been warm stratified helps to speed up the germination process[
]. Plant out about 20cm deep into their permanent positions in late summer or autumn[
Division in mid spring or early autumn with care since the plant resents root disturbance[
]. Ensure each portion has a growth bud[
]. This species is so prolific that large clumps can be dug up in late summer for re-establishment[