Family: Liliaceae
Common Name: African Lily

Native to southern Africa, agapanthus are very popular with gardeners in mild Climates because of their handsome foliage and beautiful lily-like flowers. The glossy, dark green leaves are strap-shaped, arching gracefully outwards, and blue or white flower heads are borne on long, erect stems to 1 m (3 ft) tall.


A. africanus and A. praecox subsp. orientalis, both zone 9, are quite distinct. The latter and its cultivars are used more widely in American gardens. Many agapanthus hybrids have been produced which are hardy in zone 7 and above and these are more suited to gardens in cooler Climates. Their flowers come in many shades of blue and also white. They are offered under cultivar names.


African lilies are easy to cultivate and will thrive even if neglected. Almost any soil will suit, provided it is not waterlogged. To flower, they need full sun; for an attractive foliage border, they should be planted in fairly dense shade. Set new plants 60 cm (24 in) apart and water well during the first six months. Remove spent flower stems and any dead leaves. Fertilize in spring with a complete fertilizer. African lilies do well in tubs: one large plant is enough for a 3010 cm (12-16 in) tub. Good soil and drainage is essential. Water well in spring and summer when necessary, when the flowers are being formed. Propagate by dividing the clumps during late winter or early spring. Dig up the clump and pull it apart, making sure that each plant has a sound crown and some good roots. Prune the fleshy roots and cut back the leaves if necessary.


Zones 7 to 9 depending on the species.

Aethionema      Agapetes