Alsrroemeria pulchella/psittacina was Re: COld tolerance of Alstroemeria, was Freezing bulbs: Duration vs. low temperature

Jane McGary
Wed, 16 Jan 2013 15:32:58 PST
Jim asked,

>While we are on the topic of Alstroemeria, I'll ask again a question 
>which I've asked in the past without eliciting a serious response. 
>Does anyone know why the leaves of Alstroemeria are carried upside 
>down? And please, o witty ones, no cracks about the explanation 
>being that it's due to their growing in the southern hemisphere.

Some species of alstros (e.g. A. aurea) have leaves that are twisted 
over (presumably what Jim means), and some do not. This is one of the 
diagnostic features for various species. Some leaves are borne on 
petioles, and others are sessile. Here is a translation from Munoz 
Schick & Moreira Munoz, "Alstroemerias de Chile," describing the 
various types of foliage:
"Leaves rounded, ovate, lanceolate, or linear (not considering the 
scale-like ones)
Leaves petiolate or not, with or without torsion (i.e., twisting)
Leaf margins smooth, undulate, with or without hairs, obvious or not
Surface of leaf blade glabrous (smooth) or with salient veins, with 
or without hairs, shiny or dull"

I would add that some of them have thick, almost succulent leaves 
that are very attractive, especially when the plant is just emerging.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA


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