Agapanthus africanus (Blue African Lily or Blue Nile Lily)

Michael's Opinion

This is a wonderful bulb, where I have seen it growing en masse naturalized in the dunes on Tresco Island off the coast of Cornwall, England. It is now harvested on Tresco as a cut-flower and shipped to markets in London on the same day. Although it is not supposed to be hardy in our zone 5 (USDA) garden we have had it flower (white form) for the past four years near a corner of the house under heavy mulch. For those not so fortunate an attempt at growing it in large pots is worth the effort.

Botanical Information

SynonymsAgapanthus umbellatus
CategoryBulbs, Perennials, Tropicals


USDA Hardiness Ref.
Canada Hardiness Ref.
RHS Hardiness ZoneH4
RHS Hardiness Ref.
Flowering PeriodJune, July, August

Description and Growing Information

CultivationMoisture retentive soils that are well drained and in harsher climates mulched heavily with the mulch scraped back in early spring.
PestsOccasional virus infections, remove and replace plants, planting in a fresh location.
Notable SpecimensTresco Abbey Gardens, Scilly Isles, Cornwall, England. Logan Botanic Garden, Drummore, Scotland.
Leaf DescriptionLong, narrow, arching leaves 1035 cm long and 12 cm broad.
Flower DescriptionAn umbel of 20-30 blue, funnel-shaped flowers, each flower 2.55 cm diameter.