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Of South American origin, alstroemeria–also known as Peruvian lily–is a member of the Amaryllidaceae family and is related to the onion, daffodil, agapanthus and nerine. Brought to Europe in the 18th century to be named by the renowned botanist Carl Linnaeus, alstroemerias are now grown internationally.
Readily available in ample supply year-round, alstroemerias come in a wide range of colors, including white, pink, yellow, salmon, red, lavender, orange, bronze and bicolors.
They’re ethylene-sensitive flowers, but with proper care and handling, alstroemerias may attain a vase life of 6-14 days, depending upon the cultivar. Avoid buying flowers with yellowing or transparent leaves; these are signs of ethylene damage.
Care and Handling
Trim stems under water. Place flowers in a clean container containing a properly prepared solution of fresh flower food. Avoid using water with high fluoride levels, if possible, since alstroemerias are susceptible to fluoride damage.
Alstroemerias are exceedingly versatile flowers–in terms of both color and form. Always a perfect color highlight for seasonal vase arrangements, they also serve as lovely line flowers in more contemporary arrangements, and–in a short-stemmed cluster–as vivid focal areas. Stripping the foliage is often advisable, since it will yellow long before the flowers fade.