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The Agapanthus or Star of Bethlehem is one of those flowers you just can't get wrong.

Agapanthus africanus

Beautiful blue  -  A.  africanus (Star of Bethlehem).

The Agapanthus plant is a perennial.  It is an extremely tough, drought hardy plant, coming from South Africa. There are about 10 different species. It is often called the Lily of the Nile, referring to its African origins, but it is definitely not a lily. There are Agapanthus flowers in dark blue, pale blue and white. There is even an Agapanthus rosea which is white with a delicate suffusing of pink. 

Agapanthus come in tall (about 3-4 feet), medium (30 inches) and dwarf (18 inches). They flower from spring through to autumn and are simply delightful to grow. They look like diamonds and sapphires in the garden and are ideal for borders, bedding plants and rockeries. Beautiful and totally reliable. They always looked good even among my native shrubs. Just that special touch of blue which I love. But, they are not pet friendly. Always be aware that they are poisonous to cats and dogs.

Also called the 'Star of Bethlehem' because of its glorious star-shaped flowers. You won't get much perfume from this plant, but it is very beautiful and regal looking. It doesn't need perfume, it just needs to look good.  The most common type is Agapanthus praecox subspecies orientalis.

Agapanthus inapertus. Dark Saphire Blue.
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The intense Sapphire blue of A. inapertus.

The Agapanthus belongs to the Amaryllidacea genus and belongs in the monocot order Asparagales - so yes, it is related to Asparagus. Its name comes from the Greek words 'agape' (love) and 'anthos'. It is a rhizome, and because it can spread to 3 feet in width, it will need dividing to give it more room each year. This is a good example of how plants can use more than one method of reproducing. It can spread underground via its rhizomes, but it also develops seeds, giving it two ways to carry on its genes to the next generation.


And this is the only place on Earth where it was originally found. So it is quite a rare plant, botanically speaking. It has grown in numbers because humans have spread it across the globe.

Agapanthus begin bloom

The Bud.

Agapanthus Prebloom

Ready to bloom.

Agapanthus Blue Giant

A. Blue Giant. This will need plenty of room.

Agapanthus Midnight Star

A. Midnight Star.

Agapanthus Sarah bagham

A. Sarah Bagham.

Home. Return from the Agapanthus to Perennial Flowers.

“Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.” Anon.