Alstroemeria 'The Third Harmonic'
Common Name: lily of the Incas 
Type: Bulb
Family: Alstroemeriaceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Yellow maturing to peach orange
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10 (some say 7-10) where it is best grown in organically rich, loose, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Appreciates some early afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Best with consistent and even moisture, particularly if year round flower production is sought. Taller flowering stems may need staking. Plants will survive winter temperatures to 15-20°F (perhaps slightly lower if sited in protected locations and mulched). In cold winter climates, dig tubers in fall and store in damp potting soil in a cool dark place, but it should be noted that the roots are very brittle and difficult to dig. If plants are grown in containers, bring them indoors and place in a sunny window with consistent but modest watering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

The genus Alstroemeria contains about 50 species, all of which are native to South America (mostly in Brazil for summer growing plants and in Chile for winter growing plants). They are known by a number of different common names including Peruvian lily and lily of the Incas.

Hybrid strains of Alstroemeria have become extremely popular commercial cut flowers (profuse flowering, stiff flowering stems, flower stems look good in a vase and flowers last for two weeks), and are available in a wide range of flower colors including orange, yellow, red, pink, purple, lavender, salmon and white, often with distinctive flecks, streaks and other markings.

Genus name honors Swedish botanist Klaus von Alstroemer (1736-1794) who was a student and friend of Carolus Linnaeus.

'The Third Harmonic' is a Peruvian lily hybrid that is noted for its funnel-shaped, yellow-to-orange, lily-like flowers which bloom singly in umbel-like cymes in summer (throughout the year in frost-free winter locations) atop strong upright stems rising in bushy clumps to 3-4’ tall. Flowers emerge yellow speckled with black flecks, but darken to peach orange as they mature. Stems are clad with twisted narrow lance-shaped leaves (to 4” long). This is a sterile cross of A. ‘Peach Harmony’ and A. aurantiaca (synonymous with A. aurea) bred and developed by Californian George Hare.


Slugs and snails may attack the foliage. Watch for spider mites.


Borders. Cottage gardens. Cut flower garden. Hybrid strains of Alstroemeria have become extremely popular commercial cut flowers.