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Turquoise Puya

Alstroemeria isabellana  

The rare Alstroemeria isabellana from South America is quite different from the common Alstroemeria seen in floral arrangements.  Its radiating sprays of tubular blooms have an eye-catching color combination of pinkish-orange and bluish-green.  Each cluster can have 20 or more flowers - possibly the most of any Alstroemeria species.  The plant is pretty rare in cultivation, and not commonly seen for sale.

Alstroemeria isabellana

Alstroemeria isabellana is sometimes called Bomarea boliviensis, however that is a different species.  This Alstroemeria is a perennial species from southern Brazil to Argentina.  It grows during the summer, and can go dormant or partly dormant in winter if temperatures are cool enough.  Its arching shoots grow about 2 feet long and are very attractive, looking somewhat like bamboo leaves.  The flower stalks are about 18 inches tall, and appear during summer, although they can bloom at other times when grown indoors.  The vibrant blooms are almost 2 inches long, and open a few at a time, for a long flower show.  They look surprisingly like the unrelated Phaedranassa.  Each plant can put up several flower stalks during the summer, and they make great cut flowers for arrangements.  This is a true species, not a hybrid.

Alstroemeria isabellana

It comes from a climate with mild temperatures and cool nights, but it has reportedly handled temperatures in the 90s (35 degrees C) in cultivation.  Still, consider it experimental in consistently hot conditions, especially if nights are warm.  The underground rhizomes probably can survive down to 25 degrees F (-4 degrees C) or less if planted deep.  It grows well indoors in a pot.  It enjoys rich, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  Mostly-sunny conditions are best, but some afternoon shade might be needed in warmer conditions.

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Tips on planting the tubers and seeds

 

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Turquoise Puya

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