Alstroemeria Flowers Meaning & Symbolism

Next time you pick a colorful bunch of tall-stemmed Alstroemeria flowers, think about why you’ve selected these. It might be the length of the stems or the flowers’ shape, but did you know these flowers and their specific colors have a hidden meaning?

Alstroemeria plants or Lily-of-the-Incas, Parrot Lily, Peruvian Lily (also Princess Lily) link to feelings of devotion, friendship, strength, and goodwill. These plants have a wide range of colorful flowers, which give additional meaning and symbolism, especially when gifted on special occasions.

Indigenous to Chile and Peru, in the late 17th century, a Swedish botanist Baron Claus Von Alstroemer (on an expedition there), brought Alstroemeria seeds back to Europe. The Alstroemeria plant and its hybrids grow worldwide and bring joy through their colorful flowers. There’s plenty of meaning and symbolism to these once wildflowers, as you’ll see.

Alstroemeria Flowers Are Surprisingly Colorful

There are about 190 Alstroemeria cultivars (hybrids included), and each of these has a significant variety of flowers. The colors of the Alstroemeria flowers vary from the crispest of white, daringly yellow, orange, or apricot with many variations from pink to red and purple and a lavender-bud color. The flower petals have intricate markings too.

The Alstroemeria plant, once a wildflower, is now cultivated in many different parts of the world. Florists love the plant’s hardiness and find the Alstroemeria flowers a joy as the cut flowers are not only attractive but long-lasting too. The Alstroemeria flowers have earned a name as one of the most long-lasting cut-flowers in vases for up to two weeks!

Interestingly, most Alstroemeria flowers are a varietal cross between Chile’s winter-growing species and the summer-growing Brazillian ones. These attractive flowers, therefore, are available all year round. If you’re into gifting birth flowers, give a friend, colleague, or family member a magnificent colorful bouquet if they’re born in May.

Alstroemeria Flowers Have Special Significance

We often wonder which flowers to choose from, and sometimes it’s their exotic appeal that attracts us. We’re also more often drawn to familiar flowers like the classic red roses as a symbol of love. What’s the significance and meaning of the Alstroemeria flower?

At first glance, we might think that the name Alstroemeria (not as easy to pronounce as Inca or Peruvian lily) is a mystical or ancient name for these exotic flowers. It’s not the case, though. Taxonomist Carl Linnaeus used the surname of his protégé botanist Baron Von Alströmer to log the Alstroemeria genus in his New World plants directory.

The meaning and symbolism we attach to plants influence our responses, and we choose flowers for friends, colleagues, or family members that have ordinary meanings to us. However, with fresh insights into the meaning and symbolism of the Alstroemeria flowers, we can broaden our interests and expand our gift-giving repertoire.

Why Do Alstroemeria Flowers Stand Out?

What makes the exotic Alstroemeria flower, originally from Chile and Brazil, attractive? Could it be the names these are better known as, like Inca Lilies or Peruvian Lilies, or is it the connotation of Princess Lilies or Parrot Lilies?

Flower names have symbolic meanings that affect our responses to give or receive flowers. The Japanese have a particular concept for describing this response relationship between people and flowers, called hanakotoba. In the language of gifting, this concept is old in tradition and practiced elsewhere in the world too.

In England, the term floriography refers to the act of gifting flowers or the language of flowers. Sometimes the flowers gifted are a straightforward choice, but mostly there’s etiquette involved. You need to know the many meanings to flowers and even their symbolic messages to do the right thing when expected, or to face embarrassment, perhaps.

When Do You Gift Alstroemeria Flowers?

You need not be a horticulturist or a botanist to appreciate Alstroemeria flowers or find significance in this hardy and resilient plant’s beauty. Though not everyone is drawn to plants in the same way, some people are indifferent, others sneeze and walk away, and some don’t buy cut flowers.

However, we can’t ignore our attachment to the floral world, nor can we be oblivious to how flowers affect our moods. Many of our responses might be cultural; others have a spiritual connection. There’s more about just when and why to gift a bunch of Alstroemeria flowers, some seeds to plant, or a pot of these to later transplant.

The best way to find out the meaning and symbolism of the Alstroemeria plant and flowers is to speak to a florist. They mostly know the stories and myths behind flowers. Of course, our responses to flowers are essential too, and knowing the meaning and significance behind flowers will add a particular dimension too.

Alstroemeria flowers are given at times of celebration, anniversaries, graduations, and condolences. Most often, a good time to shower someone with Alstroemeria flowers is when they’re going through a tough time. A colorful bunch of Alstroemerias will show you care or lift their state of mind.

What Special Qualities Belong To Alstroemeria Flowers?

Knowing what message you want to give or what you’re saying when you hand over a bunch of Alstroemeria flowers is a good idea. You also need to know that there’s additional significance to giving a bunch of Alstroemeria flowers as the colors have specific meanings too. Most commonly, Alstroemeria flowers are associated with qualities, like:

  • Devotion
  • Support
  • Encouragement
  • Congratulatory
  • Friendship

At the outset, Alstroemeria flowers mean you care about someone; that they’re important in your life. A bouquet of Alstroemeria flowers is symbolic of offering your support and encouragement.

It’s also good to give Alstroemeria flowers when someone is starting a new business venture for example. Mostly, Alstroemeria flowers are symbolic of one’s support for another’s dreams or aspirations, a sign of encouragement to people entering a new chapter in their lives.

On a spiritual side, Alstroemeria flowers symbolize survival. The radiant floral cheer of yellow Alstroemeria flowers will epitomize encouragement when someone is overcoming difficulties. These flowers are believed to remind us of our strength and fearlessly move on.

Mostly though, Alstroemeria flowers are a sign of friendship, a perfect gift from a friend to a friend. Alstroemeria flowers’ meanings of love, care, friendship, and support combined with thoughts of encouragement are signs of reassurance.

Whether you choose to call these flowers Inca-lilies or Peruvian ones or something special like Princess Lily or Parrot Lily, the color of the flowers is as significant as the plant.

What Is The Symbolic Value Of Alstroemeria Flowers’ Colors?

The Alstroemeria flowers come in bright colors and flower throughout summer into autumn. The cut flowers look attractive in a tall vase and symbolize friendship, love, strength, and devotion. The colors give deeper meanings, too, like:

  • White is symbolic of love and support (ideal for wedding bouquets)
  • Yellow’s vibrancy is a fun element. The color represents happiness and energy (a good choice for a friend going through a difficult time)
  • Pinkish shades are playful and represent romance (An excellent color to gift when friendship turns to love)
  • Pinks signify femininity, youth too
  • Red Alstroemeria flowers say: ‘I love you! Also, red is a symbol of passion, good health, and even new beginnings.
  • Orange tones symbolize new horizons, perhaps traveling or exploring new ideas or prospects.
  • Bolder purple hues, deep pinks, and maroon or reddish tones suggest elegance, more luxurious (these can be used with brilliant white flowers for Christenings and weddings)

Whether it’s the playfulness of pink, a childlike gentleness and even delicacy, or the purity and innocence of white (for those in grief or loss) or as a token of healing, one’s choice is with Alstroemeria flowers is wide.


The Alstroemeria floral palette is as enticing and enchanting as its meanings and symbolism. What is most pronounced is the flowers’ symbolism for supporting life’s intimate and profound moments.  

From the Alstroemeria flowers’ origins in the mountains of Peru, the Peruvian lilies (or Inca, Princess, or Parrot Lilies) have a particular spot in the language of flowers. With meanings of friendship and devotion at the forefront, the Alstroemeria flowers fascinate and bring joy across the world as either a good luck gift or a token of life-long companionship.