• Mark P. BridgenEmail author
Part of the Handbook of Plant Breeding book series (HBPB, volume 11)


The genus Alstroemeria is a South American plant species that has very attractive flowers in a wide variety of colors that can be used as cut flowers, potted plants, and garden flowers. The Inca lily, or lily of the Incas, which it is commonly called, is an easy plant to grow. The monocotyledonous plants send both vegetative and floral shoots up from subterranean rhizomes. Flowering is easily induced by controlling the light and temperature of the plants, especially the root zone. It is possible to develop an effective breeding program for Alstroemeria species through conventional intra- and interspecific hybridization, especially when in vitro techniques are incorporated into the breeding plan. The genus is a self-compatible, herbaceous plant that possesses synchronous protandrous inflorescences. The male anthers of a flower will mature and dehisce to release pollen grains before the female pistil is receptive. After the flower’s pollen is released and not viable, the tripartite stigma of the pistil will reflex and be receptive to pollination. Seeds will easily set on Alstroemeria flowers when they are self-pollinated. However, when interspecific hybridization is conducted on Alstroemeria, seed production is uncommon, and embryo culture is necessary to successfully produce hybrid plants. New plants can easily be micropropagated in vitro through tissue culture. Interspecific hybrids are often sterile, but their fertility can be improved and restored by doubling chromosome numbers with chemical treatments such as colchicine.


Embryo culture Inca lily Alstroemeria Micropropagation Tissue culture Breeding 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell UniversityRiverheadUSA

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