Peruvian Lilies

Scientific name: Alstroemeria (genus)

Fact Box:

  • Order: Liliales
  • Family: Alstroemeriaceae
  • Genus: Alstroemeria


Salmon red, apricot orange, watermelon pink, lavender purple, and creamy white are just a few of the colors that may be seen on a Peruvian lily, also known as Lily of the Incas. Often freckled, streaked, or marked, this trumpet-shaped flower has about 50 species and 190 cultivars. Its leaves grow with their undersides up, and its buds resemble turtles’ heads.


The mountainous regions of South America are home to wild Peruvian lilies, which are just one type of lily among many others, like Tiger lilies, Easter lilies, and Asiatic lilies. (We may describe these lilies more in detail in future posts.) Carl Linnaeus named the genus of this flower Alstroemeria after his student, the Swedish naturalist Klas Alstroemer, who brought the flower to Europe.


Although the Peruvian lily can cause an allergic reaction in some people, cats have it much worse: the flower causes vomiting and diarrhea in cats who try to eat it. Snails and slugs, on the other hand, like to eat these plants.

A trio of orange-colored Peruvian lilies
Fresh green stalks cluster behind the neighborhood school