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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Hardy plants, Alstroemeria

Is there a list of the more cold hardy Alstroemerias?


Here is some general information on Alstroemeria from North Carolina State University Extension, which indicates they are generally hardy to 23 degrees.

The Royal Horticultural Society's A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, edited by Christopher Brickell (DK PUblishing, 1996) says Alstroemeria aurea and A. ligtu and their hybrids are able to tolerate brief drops in temperature to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Date 2017-12-08
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Limonium, Helichrysum, Skimmia, Elaeagnus, Echinops, Alstroemeria, Callicarpa, Calluna, Aster, Lavandula, Achillea, Quercus, Viburnum, Dahlia, Cotoneaster, Acer

My son and his sweetheart are planning a wedding in Seattle (my hometown) this coming September and would love to use seasonal flowers and greenery. I have not lived in the area for many years and am at a loss. Can you give us some suggestions please?


Here are some of the plants which are available in September: Achillea (Yarrow)
Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily)
Callicarpa bodinieri (beautyberry)
Cotoneaster (for foliage)
Elaeagnus (foliage)
Hebe (flowers and foliage)
Helichrysum (straw flower)
Acer (Maple: foliage)
Quercus (Oak: foliage)
Limonium (Statice)
Viburnum tinus

Here is a link to the Washington Park Arboretum web page of seasonal highlights.

A great book on flowers by season is A Year Full of Flowers: Fresh Ideas to Bring Flowers into Your Life Every Day by Jim McCann and Julie McCann Mulligan.

Date 2017-12-08
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Alstroemeria, Poisonous plants, Edible flowers

I am planning to decorate my wedding cake with Alstroemeria. Are these flowers safe to use? The flowers won't be eaten, but will be in contact with the icing.


The website of National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has a page of resources on edible flowers, including links to information about toxic plants. Alstroemeria can cause contact dermatitis when handled, and ingesting the plant can cause gastrointestinal problems. See the following information on Alstroemeria from North Carolina State University Extension.

Rather than take any chances, I recommend restricting your decoration choices to edible flowers. A mixture of calendula, lavender, and violet blossoms, for example, might be an attractive option. North Carolina State University Extension also has an article on edible flowers.

Iowa State University Extension has useful guidelines on selecting edible flowers.

Date 2018-05-23
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Alstroemeria, Invasive plants

I've just been given two pots of Alstroemeria psittacina 'Variegata,' a lovely red variety. Is this particular variety invasive here in the Pacific Northwest? I've grown the orange ones and then they took over--very hard to eradicate from beds. Does anyone know if the red ones are as invasive?


The Pacific Bulb Society lists this species under its previous name, Alstroemeria pulchella, and says it is weedy in some gardens and barely survives in others. Alstroemeria psittacina may be officially listed as invasive in some areas (in Australia, for example), but even if not officially designated as such, it may grow aggressively. This listing on the Floridata website, describes it as follows:

"This is a seductive plant. It is colorful, unusual, and exotic looking and effortless to grow once you get it going. Every gardener I know who has seen it has wanted it, begged a start, then nurtured it and delighted in it - for a few years. Then every one of them has come to curse the way it spreads and taken to ripping it out with a vengeance. Perhaps its best use is as breeding stock for developing more spectacular and less troublesome varieties of Alstroemeria."

What you could do is grow your plants in a container, to avoid potential problems with weediness. I think aggressive spreading should be assumed with this genus unless otherwise specified.

Date 2017-05-12
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May 31 2018 13:14:08