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Herbaceous Perennial

Agapanthus inapertus

closed African lily

A clump-forming herbaceous perennial 90-150cm or more high with deciduous, rather upright, strap-shaped leaves, up to 70cm long and 2-3cm across, and stiff, upright stems topped by umbels, 10-15cm across, of hanging flowers, 2.5-4cm long, in late summer and early autumn; the flowers are in shades of blue, often purplish and sometimes very dark in colour, and are tubular with the segments barely open at the mouth

Synonyms
Agapanthus weillighii
Agapanthus weilloghii hort.
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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green Blue Purple Green
Autumn Green Blue Purple Yellow Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Amaryllidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Agapanthus are clump-forming perennials with narrowly strap-shaped leaves, evergreen in some species, and erect stems bearing umbels of funnel-shaped blue or white flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
South Africa

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moisture-retentive but well-drained soil in full sun, and in colder areas provide winter protection with a dry mulch; in containers, grow in loam-based compost such as John Innes No. 3, water freely when in growth but sparingly in winter, and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly from spring until flowering; for more advice, see Agapanthus cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sown at 13-15°C when ripe or in spring, and keep the seedlings in a frame for the first winter in frost-prone climates, or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Gravel garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Cut flowers
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

No pruning required: allow flowering stems to remain, because the seedheads look attractive over winter

Pests

Generally pest-free but may be affected by slugs and snails and Agapanthus gall midge

Diseases

Generally disease-free but may be affected by virus diseases

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