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Authors: L.  

Botanical Description

It may seem strange to see a tall border perennial recommended in a work on alpines. However, wild specimens may be dwarf and dainty and can retain these qualities in cultivation. There are three subspecies which share common features of twisted green or glaucous linear-elliptical to narrowly ovate pointed foliage and flowers with an upstanding, prominent, inner-upper pair of narrowly oblanceolate tepals which considerably exceed the other four. The former are marked by dark coloured continuous or hardly interrupted radiating stripes, the outer may be spathulate to obovate. Subsp. ligtu can be as small as 12cm tall with leaves about 2cm wide. Flowers are broadly funnel-shaped, pinkish-white to deep pink, soft orange or flame, strikingly streaked with a matching but much deeper shade over white or pale yellow, the tepals 3.7-5.4cm long in umbels of three to thirty. Leaves on the fertile stems are often minutely scale-like and withered by flowering time. Chile and Argentina in central and southern provinces from sea level to 1000m. Subsp. incarnata (syn. var. andina) starts at 20cm in height with flowers of consistently pale to deep pink having pale brownish markings over a yellow ground. Chile and Argentina in the central cordilleras at 1000-2000m Subsp. simsii (syn. A. haemantha) can be only 18cm but is generally much taller with ciliate leaves. Flowers rather narrowly funnel-shaped and rich reddish orange streaked dark burnt orange over yellow, the tepals to 5-6cm in length. The dwarf form comes from Chile, in the Cordillera de Chilian at 1600m.

a, A. ligtu; b, A. pelegrina; c, A. psittacina of gradens; d, A. pulchella;