Agapanthaceae includes a single genus of bulbous herbs from South Afica. Agapanthus was previously included in Alliaceae or liliaceae.


Agapanthus includes approximately 9 species of clump – forming bul- bous herbs from South Afica, Some are evergreen, others decidu- ous in dry seasons. leaves are strap-shaped and grasslike. Agapanthus praecox is commonly grown in the United States. It thrives in Mediterranean – type climates with hot, dry summers, cool evenings, with most moisture in winter. In areas with moist humid summers, it is not as con-sistent or prolific a bloomer, but ex-cellent drainage will help encour -age bloom. It is propagated by division of bulbs. Agapanthus prae – cox is commonly misidentified as A. africanus a smaller species with hemispherical rather than almost sphecical heads of  flowers. Distinguishing the species is somewhat complicated by the fact that A. praecox also comes in dwarf foms. A good field mark is the long – exserted anthers in A. praecox and the included anthers in A. africanus.

Agapanthus praecox

African lily, lyly -of-the -nile, agapanto

South African, perennial bulbous herb, 3-4ft, zones 9-11. Blooms late spring, early summer. Moder- ate moisture, Poor, gritty, well- drained soil, slightly acid pH. Full sun. Flowers: trumpet- shaped, blue-violet, often with darker stripes, anthers exserted, in globu-lar heads of 30 or more, on wiry scapes, 3-4ft, high. leaver: strap-shaped, stiff, 3-4ft, long. A durable and exceptionally attractive bulb plant. Grown in abundance is south-em California. A number of cultivars are available.Albus has white flowers.

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