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African Lily

The African Lily (Agapanthus africanus) is a flowering plant native to the area of Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

The African Lily sports a central flower stalk growing to heights ranging from 30 to 60 cm, and ends with an umbel that has 20 - 30 bright or deep blue flowers. These flowers can be up to 5 cm long, and are funnel shaped. On rare occasions, white flowers have been recorded.

The perianth segments of A. africanus are thick in texture and the flowers are open faced and range in colour from light to mainly deep blue. Rare sightings of white flowered plants have been recorded. Fires stimulate profuse flowering. After a recent fire in the Silver Mine Nature Reserve on the Cape Peninsula a single white flowered plant was noted amongst thousands of blue flowered ones. The plants flower mainly from December to February. The leaves are evergreen and strap like, about 15 mm wide with an average length of 350 mm. The flower stalk is usually under 700 mm tall. This subspecies is quite common and because of the fairly inaccessible terrain its survival is assured.

It has a short stem bearing a tuft of long, narrow, arching leaves 10–35 cm long and 1–2 cm broad, and a central flower stalk 25–60 cm tall, ending in an umbel of 20-30 white, or bright blue, funnel-shaped flowers, each flower 2.5–5 cm diameter.

African Lily Classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Subfamily: Agapanthoideae
  • Genus: Agapanthus
  • Species: Agapanthus africanus