They say parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever love, and this July 27th is the perfect time to say thank you for this sometimes thankless job with the lovely Peruvian lily. Known by the Latin name Alstroemeria and available in a wide range of colors, a fresh bouquet of bright and cheerful Peruvian lilies to celebrate Parent’s Day will remind your Mom and Dad (or anyone else that may have taken on the task of raising you) that they did a damn fine job.
Native to the mountains, plains and shores of South America, there are over 40 different species of this perennial plant and hundreds of different colorful cultivars. The most commonly cultivated by far is the Alstroemeria aurantiaca, which comes in gold, pink, white, red and purple flowers. While not considered a true lily, the Peruvian lily has three petals and three sepals- often with two or more colors and spots and stripes similar to a tiger lily, depending on the species. Each tall, perfectly straight, round stem holds a cluster of at least 3-5 individual flowers which are around 3 inches long, pendulous and open up to about 3 inches in diameter. The outside petals can be green when closed and it is best to pick stems that are just starting to open to prolong the length of flowering time. One of the finest features of this flower is that, when put in fresh water that is changed once a week, the blooms can last ten days or more. Your parents will appreciate the practical nature of long lasting flowers- a trait you undoubtedly picked up from them: )
In the language of flowers, the Peruvian lily stands for devotion. A unique feature of this plant are the delicate leaves that actually twist slightly on the stem to show both the underside and the upper side of each leaf. This is said to symbolize the twists and turns, trials and tribulations of parenting that go along with one’s devotion to their child.
Peruvian lilies are a fantastic value at any flower shop these days. Thanks to their long season and ability to withstand a bit of handling, these blooms can be grown locally or imported daily to ensure they are always available and always at a great price. Most stems will run about a dollar or less, which will show your parents that their lessons on financial responsibility are finally sinking in.
A large bouquet in a single color, or many different colors mixed together with showy, bright Asiatic lilies or hardy carnations will make a lovely arrangement that will have them happy to have taken on the challenge of parenting.
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