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Plantidote of the Day 2012-07-04

twig's picture

lily of the nile


Lily of the Nile, African lilies

As close to fireworks as the plant world gets, at least in my backyard. Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Try not blow anything up. Unless, of course, you meant to do that.

Now about the plant: If you live in a mild climate (Zones 7 through 11) where frost is not an issue, agapanthus is a low-maintenance garden perennial that looks good even when not in bloom. The long, strappy leaves stay shiny and bright all year long, making the flowers just frosting on the cake. If you're in a colder area, one source suggests planting the rhizomes deeper than usual and using mulch to get them through winter. Or grow them in containers and bring them inside when it gets cold. There are a surprising number of color variations in the purple/lavender family, including a newish one that's nearly black, and a pure white variety that makes an excellent contrast when planted in amongst the purple.


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; chantrelles), 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 csomments.

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JoeInSF's picture
Submitted by JoeInSF on

Thanks for a brilliant choice for symbolic 4th of July fireworks. I hope your holiday's a blast.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

some awesome pics of the jacarandas this year, since last year was a dud. Well, this year was pretty much anti-climactic, too. There were one or two trees that were spectacular, but not the Holy Cow quality hoped for (sigh). Maybe next year....

insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

Your lovely photo made me go out and have a more appreciative look at my patch.
Such a wonderful blue.

Happy 4th to all plantidoters.