The month of May is a time of celebration, especially along a stretch of our driveway. Well, you won’t be hearing “Pomp and Circumstance” or Mendelssohn’s wedding march or any of Sousa’s heart stirring marches. These trumpets are silent. But on each tall flower stalk there are eight or ten little red horns fringed in green. If all one hundred horns, or trumpets, were to play, great would be the sound. I think maybe a hundred cute little toy soldiers would march right out of the woods and down the driveway!
I’ve been trying to discover the name of this flower. In addition to its tall stalk, it grows a pretty thick ground cover with lush green leaves that come back every year. When we realized the flower went with this growth, we proceeded to protect both. We’ve been rewarded with a nice multiplication of blooms so now, instead of a few mysterious flowers, we have a large bed of them. They enjoy the partial shade of an Indonesian cherry tree.
I have shown pictures of the little trumpets for two years to friends and family members but until today had not found anyone who knew what they are. Finally, I went to see Beverly at Annell’s Flowers with a couple of samples in hand. She said the flowers look like alstromeria lilies. Pulling one of hers from a cooler, she and I compared them and, though hers come in many colors and are larger, we think it is a match.
Alstromerias are native to South America, specifically Peru (where grown in the winter) and Brazil (grown in the summer). It is also called an Inca Lily. I like that. I was calling it our mysterious flower and, even now that I know its name, it still seems mysterious–and exotic. Inca lilies growing under an Indonesian cherry tree beside a Japanese maple.
“Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Luke 12:27