Alstroemeria

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Alisdair

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Alstroemeria
« on: August 15, 2011, 09:23:47 AM »
Besides the flamboyant hybrids familiar from flower shops and stalls, there are many beautiful species of alstroemeria. One that is perfectly suitable for unwatered mediterranean-climate gardens is Alstroemeria pulchra. It comes from quite a wide range of places in Chile's mediterranean-climate area, with winter rainfall, and summer drought for anything from three to five months, or even longer. It can take a little frost. Its drought-resistance is shown by the fact that the dormant rootstock of the plant in my photo had been left by me, forgotten, in a polythene bag in my cellar for fifteen months before I planted it!
In the wild it grows in the company of friendly small plants and grasses that give it a little shade. It has a rather sprawling habit, and in Greece I've planted it among very low shrubs.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 09:49:15 AM »
That's interesting Alisdair.
I had briefly considered Alstroemeria for my new garden here, remembering some wonderful spreads of it I saw in the University BG in Stawberry Canyon, Berkeley, California many years ago.
But I ruled it out, I think because I came across a comment: "drought tolerant but will perform better with regular watering. Do not water in winter when the plant is in dormancy".
Now I have ruled it back in, in the guise of your Chilean species. Thanks!
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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JTh

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 09:35:41 PM »
I have a few Alstroemerias in my Greek garden as well, they were bought in the local market but without proper name, so I am not quite sure which species/hybrids I have got. They are very reliable and produce flowers several times from spring until autum, so they must be quite tough plants
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

ezeiza

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 10:35:41 PM »
Mike, in winter UC Berkeley can be quite chilly. There are several species more suited for hotter climates.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 10:38:17 PM »
Thanks ezeiza; I'll do some research.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 08:28:10 AM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

HansA

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 11:29:59 PM »
A. diluta is flowering actually - it does not exceed 30cm. Here a plant grown from seeds I collected a few years ago in Central Chile (Region de Maule).  
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 11:59:13 PM by HansA »
bulbgrower on the balearic islands, spain
landscape architect

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Alisdair

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 08:18:09 AM »
Lovely subtle colouring, Hans: certainly one for the notebook!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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Fermi

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 04:10:48 AM »
Alstroemeria angustifolia is one that we can grow outdoors in our rock garden without protection - the lowest we've been down to is around -7oC; it copes with a minimal summer water.
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

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Fermi

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 04:13:00 AM »
The other one that does well for us is Alstroemeria hookeri - it has even spread a little by seed.
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

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Alisdair

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 09:09:45 AM »
Nice pictures, Fermi - and a very nice form of A. hookeri, the soft colours more appealing than the rather firmer tones of the one I have.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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Fermi

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2012, 01:55:45 PM »
Hi Alisdair,
Have you got pics of your A. hookeri?
The one I have is the "common" form in commerce here and seems to come true from seed. Does yours set seed? Perhaps we could trade?
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

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Alisdair

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 06:42:42 PM »
Sorry, I don't have a picture, and I may not even have the plants any more! The tubers were given to me as subsp. cummingiana, and flowered for a couple of years here in the UK, in a pot that I grew under glass, dry in summer. Then I took them out to our Greek garden, where I have seen them in growth but not flower on our winter/spring visits. I didn't look out for them particularly last spring but didn't notice them, so they may eventually have found the summers too hot and dry for them. We're going out in January so I will have a look to see if I can find them under their sheltering bushes (they are marked on my garden map)!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Trevor Australis

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 12:51:39 AM »
I have A. umbellata which is also very pretty and so far seems reliable. Mine came from Chileflora seed. tn
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

David Bracey

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Re: Alstroemeria
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 02:30:14 PM »
The flashy Alstroemias are the most un-mediterranean plant I know.  i think they should be relegated to house plants!
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.