Agapanthus praecox

Botanical Name: Agapanthus praecox Willd.

Synonym:                       Agapanthus africanus  (Pitta Joffe = Dwarf Agapanthus) Common Name:          Agapanthus Plant Family:               Alliaceae Origin:                            Southern Africa References:                  Joffe p.279, Pienaar 2 p.52. S.A.No. -, Zimb. No. –   Description:  One of the most popular of plants grown in Southern Africa. This plant has blade like shiny leaves, and grows into big clumps, bearing blue flowers on long peduncles. Grows from fleshy rhizomes, which branch annually. Features of Particular Interest:  Flowers are borne in large globus round blue flower heads for many months in summer. Leaves good ground cover in mass planting. Height and Spread:  500mm x 500mm. Periods of Interest:  Leaf:  All year round. Flowering:  November to January. Cultivation Soil and Moisture:  This plant requires little care and is rewarding if planted in well drained compost enriched soil. Water regularly during the flowering season. Aspect:  Requires full sun or partial shade Hardiness:  Frost hardy. Maintenance and Pruning:  Dig up and divide clumps every few years, breaking up the rhizomes and replanting them 400mm apart. Feed during the summer Propagation:  By division towards the end of winter, planting immediately after dividing (see above); also from seed after flowering, planting out seedlings when 5 – 6 months old. Seedlings only flower after a few years. Problems and Drawbacks:  Tends to spread. Use and Associated Planting:  Plant in bold clumps grouped with Kniphofia (8.1). Ideal to edge driveways and for the wild garden, spectacular in mass planting in drifts under trees to form a ground cover, on steep banks to hold soil, in containers, or boxes on a patio,  or in mixed shrub border. Used extensively in office complexes, school grounds, and shopping malls. Notes:  The generic name comes from the Greek, “agape” which means love and “anthos”, which means flower. It is referred to as the flower of love.