Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2011 floral designers can choose from many kinds of new cut flowers. These include some delightful Inca lilies or alstroemerias as well as some new anthuriums.
Some Hardy Inca Lilies or Alstroemerias
There are several new alstroemerias that are hardy to zone six or so. Initially introduced a year or so ago the Tangerine Tango has proven to be winter hardy to zone five when it is mulched properly. Over 2½ feet in height, it is named for the hot orange and yellow blossoms. These have spots or specks of darker hues. The flowers begin opening in June, and continue non-stop until frost arrives. This was bred by Mark Bridgen, horticulture professor at Cornell University. As a cut flower, the stems of Tangerine Tango can last for over two weeks.
Mauve Majesty Inca Lily is also hardy to zone six, and another of Bridgen’s introductions from Cornell. This has very full flower stems with over 15 individual florets per bunch. The blooms are pinkish-rose with a yellow throat and dark flecks of color.
For best results, plant all of these alstroemerias in a rich, well drained soil high in organic matter in a sunny spot in the cutting garden. If you’re growing hardy ones, be sure and add a winter mulch.
New Anthuriums for 2011
The anthuriums are very romantic flowers. These stems have a very long vase life. Both the shape and color of the blooms are very distinctive.
Zing anthurium is a new variety. Particularly long lasting, the flowers retain their vivid red color. These open on tall stems. This can be grown as a summer annual in cold climates, while those in warm climates like Florida can grow it year-round outdoors. Zing is resistant to disease and heat.
Pizzazz Anthurium is a very floriferous variety. This has lovely red blooms on stately stems. A vigorous, fast growing variety, it blooms earlier than some. The flowers last for a very long time, and keep their bright color. The plants are resistant to disease. This can be grown in containers.