Climbing Alstroemeria

13 May

Climbing Alstroemeria (Bomarea caldasii) semi-evergreen to winter deciduous, rapidly spreading, twining growth to 12 feet in height, clusters of narrow, orange tubular flowers bloom fall and winter, dark green leaves, full sun to light shade, drought tolerant once established, good cut flower.

Bomarea is a tuberous member of the the family Alstroemeriaceae. There are about 100 species, some of which are non-climbing, growing more like a ground cover, although the majority are climbers. They are found from Mexico on South, through the tropics and into the Andes, on down to Southern Chile, and are mostly plants of the forest understory, where they grow through adjacent vegetation in lightly shaded conditions. Some species are coastal, growing in the fog belt of Chile, so, not surprisingly they do very well in Coastal California. Bomarea is related to Alstroemeria where both flowers and leaves demonstrate this close relationship. However, there have been proposals to put these two genera together based on modern phylogenetic studies.  The beautiful flowers of this genus are produced in a dense umbel at the end of the growing shoots. Each umbel can be composed of as many as 30-45 flowers if well grown, with flowers consisting of three outer tepals and three inner, sometimes of contrasting colors.

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