Agapanthus – the name alone is significant, coming from the Greek, αγáπη(agape) =love áνθος(anthus) = flower, and I admit it is one of my favourites. Another South African native, (the type species for the genus is Agapanthus africanus), it looks wonderful there planted in vast drifts in the sunshine.
The funnel-shaped flowers are attractive to bees.
and come in shades of blues and purples
as well as the smart white
The foliage of strappy leaves is also attractive and I love to see the progression as the flowers unfold
Cultivation : There are two main types – deciduous and evergreen; the deciduous is hardier. They are drought-tolerant, and do well in coastal situations in well-drained soil in full sun. In colder regions mulch in autumn and split large clumps every few years. They do well in pots, where their roots are constricted, but will need fresh compost every year or two.
‘Which?Gardening’ magazine ran trials on the best varieties and came up with their top four – ‘Northern Star’, ‘Midnight Cascade’, ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Headbourne Hybrids’.
Their statuesque bearing suits both traditional and modern settings.
Traditional uses: Agapanthus is used in traditional medicine in South Africa for fertility and during pregnancy, when the roots and rhizomes are taken. It is seen as a lucky charm, brides wear pieces of the stem and families plant them near the house to bring healthy babies.
So it really is the love plant after all.