Alstroemeria meyeniana Schauer
Alstroemeria sotoana Phil.
Alstroemeria tigrina Phil.
Alstroemeria versicolor is a herbaceous perennial plant producing a cluster of upright stems around 30cm tall from an underground, tuberous rootstock. The roots spread, forming in time a clump of growth[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is often 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 - Chile.
Stony places and scrub at an levation of 250 - 1,700 metres from Valparaiso to Conception and in the Valle de los Cipreses[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Alstroemeria versicolor is a plant of semi-arid subtropical regions of Chile, where it can be found at elevations from sea level up to the timber line. It grows in areas that experience a dry season in the summer of 3 - 5 months and an annual rainfall of 400 - 800mm, concentrated in the winter. The plant does not experience snowfall, but does experience occasional frosts where temperatures can fall to around -5°c[
Requires a fertile, moisture retentive well-drained soil and a warm situation in sun or semi-shade[
]. Prefers a dry sheltered border and a peaty loam[
The roots should be planted 15 - 20cm deep when dormant in late summer to autumn and then be well mulched to protect them from severe winter weather.
Somewhat intolerant of root disturbance[
], the roots are fleshy and brittle[
Root - cooked[
]. A source of starch, it is very nutritious[
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[