Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Alstroemeria aurea Graham

Frost-hardy, tuberous-rooted perennial with bright orange or yellow flowers, streaked dark red inside, in summer.  Many garden cultivars and hybrids exist.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 


Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described by Graham in 1833. ‘This species, imported by Mr Anderson, was received at the Botanic Garden from Mr Low of Clapton, under the specific name here adopted, and is now in flower in the greenhouse. I am afraid that in this, as in many other South American genera, we are unwarrantably multiplying specific names; but this is probably rightly considered distinct from any of the plants previously described.  In habit it approaches nearly to Alstroemeria pulchella, but probably will always be a much smaller plant.’ [The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal vol.15, p.181/1833]. This information was repeated verbatim in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in 1834 with an illustration. [BM t.3350/1834].

‘It is a very handsome species, and with a little protection from wet during winter will live very well in the open ground.’  [BR f.1843/1836].  Baker described it as ‘common at the present time [1888] in European gardens.’  [Baker Am.]  Introduced to Britain in 1831.  [JD]. 

‘It was introduced from Chili by Mr. Anderson, the indefatigable collector, who accompanied Captain King in his voyage of survey in South America.’  [OFG f.187/1854].


History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.23/1843].  Possibly obtained from Philip Parker King or his father, both friends of the Macarthur family. 



Published Jan 11, 2009 - 12:20 PM | Last updated Mar 23, 2012 - 01:40 PM

The image shows a flowering shoot with bright orange-yellow flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3350, 1834.

Alstroemeria aurea Graham | BM t.3350/1834 | BHL


Family Alstroemeriaceae
Region of origin


  • Alstroemeria aurea Graham
  • Alstroemeria aurantiaca D.Don
  • Alstroemeria araucana Phil.
  • Alstroemeria chiloensis Phil.
  • Alstroemeria concolor Steud.
  • Alstroemeria mutabilis Kunze ex Kunth
  • Alstroemeria nivali Meyen
  • Alstroemeria peruviana Van Houtte
  • Alstroemeria pulchella H.Vilm.
  • Alstroemeria xanthina Phil.

Common Name

Lily of the Incas

Name in the Camden Park Record

Alstroemeria aurea 


Confidence level high