Scattered Clouds 35° Good Evening
Scattered Clouds 35° Good Evening
LifestyleHome and Garden

A new Lily of the Incas: Tangerine Tango

'Tangerine tango' Alstroemeria

'Tangerine tango' Alstroemeria Photo Credit: Handout

You know those cool lily-orchid-looking flowers you get in those mixed-bouquets from the florist? Those are Alstroemeria, also known as Lilly of the Incas. Most I've seen are pink, but a whole new species has just become available, and as its name implies, this one is orange.

Hardy to zone 5 (we're in 7), this one spreads and improves each year, and you can use it for your own homemade bouquets. What's more, it blooms in stages, so you'll get a constant show of flowers from May through frost.

Who do we thank for this marvel of modern hybridization? Cornell University professor of horticulture Mark Bridgen, who has been toiling over this plant for eight years, crossing different species of Alstroemerias from Brazil and Chile in the quest for winter hardiness, beauty and longevity when cut. 'Tangerine Tango' is said to last two weeks in a vase.

Some commercial nurseries bought a license to propagate and sell the plant, so you'll be able to find it online and in some catalogs this year. I've seen it selling for $10 apiece (oftentimes with volume discounts).

I'm considering planting six atop a retaining wall among the lavenders.

More Lifestyle