Notice: Atrium is currently undergoing maintenance. During this time, some or all images may not be displayed.

Family: Alstroemeriaceae Dumort.

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Family Parent: Liliales Status: Invalid Reason: synonym

Common Names:

  • ALSTROEMERIA FAMILY - English, United States of America
  • PERUVIAN-LILY FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Lily-like, leafy-stemmed perennial herbs with 3–8 showy flowers in an umbellate inflorescence, the tepals red to wine, greenish apically, spotted purplish brown, 3.5–4.5 cm long, distinct; ovaries inferior.


Notes: A small New World family of 3–5 genera and 150–160 species of erect or twining herbs ranging from c Mexico to Patagonia but found especially in the Andes (Mabberley 1997; Bayer 1998; Sanso & Xifreda 2001). The family is important horticulturally, with species cultivated for cut flowers, as pot plants, or as outdoor ornamentals. Storage roots of several species are starchy and edible (Bayer 1998). The genera have been variously treated in terms of family affiliation. Some authorities have put them in a very broad and clearly polyphyletic (but practical) Liliaceae (Cronquist 1988), while others have treated them in the Amaryllidaceae (Pax & Hoffman 1930) or segregated them as a distinct family (e.g., Dahlgren et al. 1985; Bayer 1998). Based on phylogenetic analyses, we are following Bayer (1998) and Rudall et al. (2000b) in treating Alstroemeria in the Alstroemeriaceae (order Liliales). For a detailed discussion of the groups formerly treated as Liliaceae in the broad sense, see the family synopsis of the Liliaceae (here treated in a restricted sense) on page 726. The Alstroemeriaceae appears related to the Colchicaceae (Bayer 1998; Rudall et al. 2000b). (subclass Liliidae—Cronquist; order Liliales—APG II)