Agapanthus praecox (Common Agapanthus, Blue Lily, African Lily, or Lily of the Nile) is a native of Natal and Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Local names for this species include agapant, bloulelie, isicakathi and ubani. Most of the cultivated plants of the genus Agapanthus are hybrids or cultivars of this species. The plant is reportedly naturalised in Great Britain, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Eritrea, Ethiopia, St. Helena, Victoria, Norfolk Island, New Zealand, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Tristan da Cunha.
Agapanthus praecox subspecies orientalis (shown here) occurs in Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu-Natal. It has up to 20 poisonous, strap-like leaves per plant which are arching and are not leathery. These range in length from 20 to 70 cm long and 3 to 5 cm wide. Flower colour ranges from various shades of blue to white.
Shiny black seeds are produced in three-sided capsules. These have perianth segments which are less than 50 mm in length. Agapanthus praecox subsp. orientalis is highly regarded for being tough in sun and heat, long-flowering, and is a favourite for many councils in Australia for the landscaping of roads and other public areas which do not get watered. The plant is still widely planted but in some areas it is considered a weed, and planting has been discontinued, although it is not generally regarded as highly invasive.
In Melbourne these plants grow luxuriantly and bloom for several weeks around Christmas. They are a common garden plant, but are also planted on nature reserves and verges along roads.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.