One of the finalists in this year’s Chelsea Plant Of The Year competition that attracted a lot of attention was Alstroemeria Inca Smile ('Koncasmile'). But the world’s full of alstroemerias, you might say, what’s so special about this one? Well, as Thompson & Morgan’s Paul Hansord said at the show: “It’s got the largest flowers I’ve ever seen”.
Of course, unusually large flowers are not automatically an advantage. But in this case they combine well with the other features of the plant.
The flowers themselves are beautifully patterned - the white outer petals prettily tinted in pale pink while the white inner petals are tipped with yellow and marked by slender but bold crimson streaks. Each flower is 8-9cm across – that’s almost four inches!
The bushy plants are handily sized between dwarf and tall, reaching about 40cm (16in) in height: tall enough to make an impact in borders and for stems to be pulled for a vase, while at the same time not too tall for containers.
The plants are hardy down to -7oC (19oF), lower with a winter mulch of bark chips, and are happy in any good, fertile soil in full sun although it pays not to allow them to dry out and to ensure that aphids are controlled if necessary.
Inca Smile was developed in The Netherlands by Könst Alstroemeria BV who have been developing new alstroemerias for over twenty years.
You can order plants of Alstroemeria Inca Smile ('Koncasmile') from Thompson & Morgan.
** Please note the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and are not necessarily those of the RHS **