Alstroemeria, the Peruvian lily, is available from British growers all through the year, in a whole range of colours. From soft whites, creams and peaches, through to bright pinks, purples and almost brash oranges.
For that reason alone they should be part of any British flower florist's arsenal of front line flowers.
But when you take into account that they can happily travel out of water, that they have long straight stems, they can last in a vase for up to 3 weeks, and they are one of the best value flowers available, then it's amazing that they're not used more often.
With up to 5 flowers per stem, Alstroemerias are good for giving plenty of body to a bouquet without bulking out the number of stems.
They are also still popular as a single bunch of flowers, as can be seen by the sales at supermarkets. However, British stems can easily be differentiated from overseas blooms, as those that have travelled are often picked before the buds have started to colour and open, so that they can be packed tighter. This means that there is often greater bud drop on imported Alstroemeria.