Twenty years ago, nobody would have believed you if you stated that plants just 30cm tall could carry full-size Peruvian lily flowers, and flower repeatedly all summer. But they have been around for a few years now and have been rapidly acquiring many new fans. People who had their patience worn thin began to revise their opinions. One fatal flaw was that Peruvian lilies used to flop about and collapse in a swathe, usually at flowering time. The lower kinds have rectified that annoying problem.

The second problem was that they were routinely attacked by slugs and snails. Unlike the flopping propensity, this problem remains. The slugs’ taste for them is widely known. Damage is done mainly at shoot emergence and when the plants get well-established, like dahlias, they physically out-grow what the snails can eat. It is almost as though slugs have not evolved in South America, or that the juicy leaves are irresistible to the slimy hordes.