Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Alstroemeria isabellana, my favorite plant in the garden this week...

I purchased (those who were there might say “pounced on”) this Alstroemeria isabellana last summer at Joy Creek Nursery. I’d gone to hear a talk by Kelly and Sue of Far Reaches Farm, who’d brought some plants with them to sell. When I saw this plant I had to have it!

Far Reaches currently identifies it as Alstroemeria isabellana but it’s also been known as Alstroemeria x bomarea 'Fred Meyer'…no matter the name it’s a fabulous plant. Because I bought it so late in the season (August if memory serves) I wasn’t sure where to plant it and fell to my default…it went in a container, which is also where it overwintered. Here’s a collage from last September’s Bloomday post (2012) where you can see the cool seed pods that form after the blooms…

Concerned the container treatment wasn’t ideal I feared it wouldn't return this spring, but thankfully it did. As soon as possible I planted it in the new area created by clearing out some lawn.

It’s got one blooming stem working already…

And two more on the way.

It is the flowers which drew me to this plant but the foliage is also pretty sweet. Thick, heavy grey/green succulent leaves and a lot of them…

The stats:
  • Perennial
  • Hardy in zones 8a-10b, although Far Reaches lists it going as cold as zone 7a
  • The flowering stems can reach 2-3ft tall, and tend to be held a little taller than the foliage (in my experience)
  • Likes sun and rich soil with average moisture although it is said to be drought tolerant
  • From South Africa

Want one? Both Dancing Oaks Nursery and Far Reaches have it available via mail order.

Do you have a favorite plant feature to share? Leave a comment below with a link, I'd love to hear about what's looking really good in your garden this week!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

30 comments:

  1. WOW. Very, very cool.

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  2. What a cool plant. Another to go on my must have list.

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  3. I remember you grabbing that one, and now I see why you had to elbow us aside for it ;-)
    The emerging bloom stem is almost as beautiful as the flower and foliage.

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    1. And I came home to some of those seed pods!

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  4. You have such an eye for the exotic and beautiful! Who knew that Alsty had such a sexy cousin. I'm sorta leaning towards Fridays as my fave post days, so I'll be back then with a link.

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    1. I look forward to seeing what you decide to feature this week Ricki...

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  5. My neighbor Janet loved that plant, and since I'd just done a little research on it, I thought the name would come to me. Alas, all I could remember was it wasn't what I expected it to be. (You try having a weekend with 2 extra men in the house with the 2 you've already got and see if your brain does careen off a bit...)

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    1. And mix in a little heat and watering duties and it's a wonder you're still standing.

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  6. That is quite an interesting flower. Kind of Allium-ish, kind of Fritillaria-ish. Not very Alstroemeria-ish. I like the color, and the dark tips on the petals.

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    1. "Kind of Allium-ish, kind of Fritillaria-ish"...well said.

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  7. Unusual and beautiful! It's going on my plant shopping list. And here's my recent post on my favorite plant in the garden. http://gravylessons.blogspot.com/2013/06/gobbo-di-nizzia-cardoon-is-my-favorite.html

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    1. Thank you for joining in the fav-fun...and I am jealous of your cardoon.

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  8. What a beauty [sob!] http://agrowingobsession.com/?p=43308

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    1. Maybe mine will get large enough I can lob off a section for you to try again?

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  9. That is quite a plant - very unusual and beautiful.

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    1. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to snag it!

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  10. Hi there: Ricki Grady mentioned your "favorite plant" theme. I didn't know about it before, but my most recent post fits (I think). Here's the link: bit.ly/12gpwzE. That Alstroemeria is pretty nifty. I, too, think the foliage is just as interesting as the flowers!

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    1. Glad to find you and your fav post (or rather you found me but you know what I mean...).

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  11. Oh my! love this.... Wah... I can't grow it here. You are always teasing me with all the stuff you can grow that I can't...

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    1. I'm truly sorry for that Deanne...

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  12. I was about to say the flowers reminded me of Bomarea hirtella until I saw you mention it's synonym x Bomarea.

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    1. Ah yes...the resemblance is strong for sure.

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  13. This is really a cool looking plant, the bloom is a cross between an aloe and those fancy alliums! The seedpods are also very aloe like.
    My favorite plant these days are my Royal Poinciana which are in glorious bloom:
    http://caribbeangarden.blogspot.com/2013/06/dream-trees.html

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    1. Love the Royal Poinciana Trees...and from seed? Amazing.

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  14. This is so cool! It's so exotic looking, gotta have one. Beautiful photos.

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    1. Thanks Nat, and I hope you are able to find one!

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