Jane McGary
Fri, 02 Jun 2006 11:44:26 PDT
The most vigorous Alstroemeria in my garden is one I grew from seed 
collected at a fairly low elevation in hills near Chile's Valle Central. I 
think it's A. ligtu subsp. incarnata. It's very large and produces masses 
of flowers most of the summer. Fortunately I have it confined to a huge 
sand and gravel berm, where I also grow some other alstros, tulips, and the 
western North American genus Hastingsia, punctuated by whatever wildflowers 
happen to seed in, such as lupines, foxgloves, Gilia capitata, Solidago, 
and California poppy. And weeds, of course. (Reading John Ingram's posting, 
I'm motivated to include Zauschneria [current name Epilobium canum] in the 
mix; it could rampage at will, and it would flower after the alstros so the 
colors wouldn't clash.) This alstro happily survives winter temperatures 
below 20 F, though the emerging foliage can be damaged a bit, and stocks 
the house with cut flowers all on its own. Seeds like mad, too, but mostly 
into the gravel path, which I spray with Round-up. The flowers are warm 
pink with yellow, very large, and as many as 25 per inflorescence. The 
habit is lax, so it would not please a cutflower breeder.

I also have A. aurea in the garden, but it behaves itself, perhaps because 
my plants stem from near the northern limit of its distribution, where the 
plants tend to be smaller than those in the forests of Patagonia.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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