Family: Alstroemeriaceae
Common Name: Peruvian Lily

This genus of large, showy perennials originates from South America, mostly from Chile. They come in colours of red, yellow and purple and have thick, fibrous rootstocks. Peruvian lilies have been extensively selected and hybridized by commercial flower growers.


A. aurea is the most common and hardiest of the species, growing to 1 m (3 ft). The leaves are twisted, narrow and lance-shaped and the flowers are yellow, red to bright orange, or spotted brown. Cultivars are available. The herb lily, A. haemantha, zone 9, has reddish yellow, green-tipped flowers, spotted with purple. A. ligtu, from Chile and Argentina, produces flowers from white through lavender to pink and red. Hybrids of this species are amongst the most popular.


These plants do well in mild gardens in a sunny, moist, but well-drained spot, provided they are protected from frost during their first winter. Once established, they will thrive for years. Peruvian lilies are best bought as established pot-plants because they do not like their roots being disturbed. They can be propagated from seed sown in situ or by carefully breaking the seed pods to avoid damage to the brittle roots. Plant 12 cm (5 in) deep in rich soil. Clumps can be divided, with care, in autumn or spring. These attractive lilies make wonderful cut flowers.


Plants can be grown in zones 8 or 9 depending on species.

Alpinia      Alternanthera