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Plantidote of the Day 2011-06-21

twig's picture


Agapanthus orientalis or africanus


In another day or two, all those closed buds in the shot above will be open, creating a big ball (8" to 10" in diameter) of blue splendor that marks the beginning of summer here in Zone 10 (to me anyway). This is the original, old school version of agapanthus. Now there are newer varieties with larger flower balls, white flowers and even dwarf versions of lily of the Nile. They're all beautiful, but I still like the classic version best.

Lily-of-the-Nile is comfortable in USDA Zones 8a through 11. In colder climates, it can be grown as a container plant and brought inside during winter. Lily-of-the-Nile likes full sun, but can manage with some shade. Once established, it can tolerate dry spells and seems impervious to pests. Just about the perfect plant!

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

Such a calming color... like lavender which is in bloom this hot time of year.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

refreshing. Hey, you're right -- maybe it is a summer thing, with cool colors blooming when it's hottest. Brilliant!

insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

Any flower that is blue is worth having.

Agapanthus now is available in wonderful cultivars which range from your lovely photo pale blue to the deepest navy blue.
It is a must have for those 4th of July Red white and blue arrangements.

Love it!