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.

Bomarea ovata (Cav.) Herb.

Frost-tender, tuberous-rooted, twining, climbing perennial with 1-4 flowers per stem, pink with green tips outside and copiously spotted with claret brown inside.  It is a very variable plant, attested by the large number of synonyms, with descriptions in the literature varying accordingly.  [RHSD, Baker Am.].  Baker describes Bomarea edulis var. ovata (Cav.) Mirb. as having broader leaves, more rounded at the base, and larger flowers than the species.  [Baker Am.].


Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described as Alstroemeria ovata by Cavanilles in1791 [Icones et Descriptiones Plantarum vol.1, p.54/1791]. Transferred to Bomarea as Bomarea ovata by Mirbel in 1804 [Hist. Nat. Pl. vol.9, p.72/1804]. Considered by some authors, notably Baker, as a variety of Bomarea salsilla.

‘This very interesting species of Alstroemeria, allied, indeed, but yet abundantly distinct from A. salsilla, flowered in the greenhouse of the Glasgow Botanic Garden, in September, 1827. Note: The Alstroemeria hirtella of Sweet's British Flower Garden is, I think, though said to he a native of Mexico, unquestionably the same species with the one here given; and it may also be that of Humboldt and Kunth. Perhaps the A. hirsuta of these latter authors may not be specifically distinct, and all these approach very near to the A. latifolia of Ruiz and Pavon.  [BM t.2848/1828]. 

‘We received it from our friend Mr. M’Nab, of the Edinburgh garden, but whence it was raised from seeds in 1825. […] Herbaceous climbing plant, growing to a height of six feet or more during the summer, and flowering from July till late in autumn.’  [LBC no.1654/1832]. This is the illustration used here.


History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues.  [B.26/1845]. 



Published Jan 11, 2009 - 02:28 PM | Last updated Mar 25, 2012 - 10:47 AM

The image shows a twiggy shoot with leaves and yellow, green-tipped flowers.  LBC no.1654/1832.

Bomarea ovata (Cav.) Herb. | LBC no.1654/1832 as Alstroemeria ovata | BHL


Family Alstroemeriaceae
Region of origin

South America

  • Alstroemeria ovata Cav.
  • Alstroemeria densiflora Herb.
  • Alstroemeria macrocarpa Ruiz & Pav.
  • Alstroemeria tomentosa Ruiz & Pav.
  • Bomarea ovata (Cav.) Herb.
  • Bomarea amoena (Herb.) M.Roem.
  • Bomarea edulis var. ovata (Cav.) Mirb.
  • Bomarea macrocarpa (Ruiz & Pav.) Herb.
  • Bomarea mooreana Kraenzl.
  • Bomarea nobilis Herb.
  • Bomarea polyphylla Kraenzl.
  • Bomarea punctata Herb.
  • Bomarea purpurea var. amoena Herb.
  • Bomarea purpurea var. guancana Herb.
  • Bomarea simplex Herb.
  • Bomarea subsessilis Killip
  • Bomarea tomentosa (Ruiz & Pav.) Herb.
  • Bomarea variabilis Herb.
  • Bomarea villosa M.Roem.


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Alstroemeria ovata 


Confidence level high