Friday, May 15, 2009

Is this a Peruvian Lily?

Judy from Lumberton has a plant in her garden she can't identify and asked if Dig-It could help.

The leaves of the plant look like those of a lily - which is the first clue. It's a perennial, and tends to spread. Although the bloom in this photo of the plant in her yard is small, and therefore harder to verify, it might to be an Alstroemeria, more commonly known as Peruvian Lily.

In one of those serendipitous moments, her question helped me identify a plant in my daughter's new yard that I wasn't sure about. Turns out it's an Alstroemeria psittacina.

Judy, if your plant is indeed a Peruvian lily - and I'm not convinced it is, so I'd like to hear from others - be aware that it self-seeds freely if not deadheaded.


  1. Ours bloom a multitude of yellow, orchid-like flowers, and we like to call them lilies, too. But I think they are actually Walking Iris, named for those seed pods that 'walk' up to several feet each season. Ours are about six feet tall now, bulbs scavenged from a mature bed we long admired at a green-thumb aunt's estate.

  2. PJ,
    While the leaves and the arching stems do resemble a walking iris, the blooms don't match any walking irises I've found doing research. The leaves are symetrical and don't have the iris shape. Also, the blooms are very small and blue, rather than purple or violet. Any other suggestions? I'm still looking...