Alstromeria - The meaning of flowers
Meaning - Wealth, prosperity, fortune, friendship
Alstromeria sometimes called Ulster Mary (a corruption of the botanical name), or Peruvian lily from the country of origin. Pronounced Alstro-MARY-ah. The flower is named after Claus Alstroemer, a pupil of the great botanical classifier Linnaeus who went to South America and sent back seeds of species of this flower. The flowers are like miniature lilies, with spotted or striped markings, shaded colour, or contrasting patches.
Of South American origin, alstroemeria 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.
Flower Availability and Vase Life
Readily available in ample supply all year-round, alstroemerias come in a wide range of colours, including white, pink, yellow, salmon, red, lavender, orange, bronze and bicolours.
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 the stems and 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. Stripping the foliage is often advisable, since it will yellow long before the flowers fade.
Florist Design Uses
Alstroemerias are exceedingly versatile flowers in terms of both colour and form. Always a perfect colour 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. Take care in transporting the flowers, as the stem joints are brittle and easily broken.