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. 128 species, South America. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic, S.A., W.A., LHI, NI. Some species are grown horticulturally, mainly cultivars.
Text by G. J. Harden (1993); edited KL Wilson (Jan 2017)
Taxon concept: Distribution and occurrence: Kew Plants of the World Online; Australian Plant Census [both accessed 27 Apr. 2023].
| ||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|