Plantidote of the Day 2011-06-21
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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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