This South African native positively thrives in coastal south-eastern Australia to the point where it is considered a weed in many areas. Plants have long strap-like leaves that form a thick mass up to 1.5 metres high. In late spring to early summer each plant produces several long flower stems that can be up to 1.2 metres long. Each stem holds dozens of tubular blue or white flowers in a globe-shaped flower-head. Breeding has now resulted in dwarf forms, and some are relatively resistant to ethylene than the common blue varieties.
Agapanthus is grown as a field crop. Most are grown in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
What to look for
- Buy when 1 to several flowers in a bunch are just opening and brightly coloured;
- Avoid bunches with all the flowers open, faded flowers, or with flower drop when bunches are shaken;
- Avoid stems that are split at the base.
- Keep cool at all times.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in water immediately.
- Always use a preservative as this will help keep open flowers looking fresh.
- Replace vase water with fresh preservative every day.
- Very sensitive to ethylene. Keep them away from fruit, car exhausts and cigarette smoke.
Botanical Name: Agapathus africanus
Common Names: African Lily, Agapanthus, Lily of the Nile
Stem Length: 30 to 100 cm
Country of Origin: South Africa
Available Colours: Blue, White