Description: Perennial, erect herbs with leafy stems arising annually from rhizomatous, tuberous rootstocks.
Leaves alternate, resupinate; veins numerous, longitudinal.
Inflorescence terminal, a corymbose cyme with leafy bracts. Flowers zygomorphic. Tepals 6, free, spathulate; outer tepals equal; inner tepals unequal. Stamens 6, free; filaments filiform, inserted on an annular nectary. Ovary inferior, 3-locular; ovules in 2 rows per loculus; style 3-fid; stigmas 3, shortly recurved.
Fruit a loculicidal capsule; seeds many, dispersed explosively from the capsule.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 50 species, South America. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic, S.A., W.A. Some species are grown horticulturally, mainly cultivars.
This genus has often been included in either the Liliaceae s. lat. or the Amaryllidaceae.
Text by G. J. Harden (1993); edited KL Wilson (Jan 2017)
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Perianth yellow, orange, or orange-red with darker stripes and flecks||Alstroemeria aurea|
|Perianth dark red below, pale yellowish green near the apex, with green stripes and dark purplish blotches||Alstroemeria psittacina|