Agapanthus praecox (Blue)
Blue Lily of the Nile
A lily-like plant native to eastern South Africa that forms clusters of straplike, light green leaves that give rise to long-stalked inflorescences that hold a globe of countless, blue, lily-like flowers at the tip. In cultivation it does well in a range of temperate climates in USDA Zones 7 to 10. It is evergreen in milder climates but will lose its leaves in colder winters. Plants in cultivation are usually sold under the name A. africanus. Alice Notten of Kirstenbosch Garden writes on South African National Biodiversity Institute's www.plantzafrica.com: "Many gardeners and even some authors of publications mistakenly call the Agapanthus in cultivation A. africanus. This is almost certainly incorrect. A. africanus is a winter rainfall plant and is difficult in cultivation, needing very well-drained soil, hot, dry summers and wet winters. Practically all the evergreen Agapanthus in cultivation in the world, are hybrids or cultivars of A. praecox".