Agapanthus (百子蓮屬 is an erect perennial herb with flowering stems to about 1.2m high. They are native to Southern Africa though some have become naturalized in scattered places around the world like Australia and UK. Some species of Agapanthus are commonly known as lily of the Nile. Many hybrids have been produced.

The leaves are long and strap-like, glossy and dark green. They grow to about 60 cm long. And are arranged in two rows. The plant flowers in late spring and early summer. The inflorescence is a pseudo-umbel subtended by two large bracts at the apex of a long, erect scape (long flower stalk) up to 1.2 m tall. Each flower has six petals fused to form a funnel-shaped corolla tube. The colours of the petals are blue, lilac or white. There are 6 stamens and a pistil. The ovary is superior. The black, winged seeds are enclosed in a leathery green capsules which dries to pale brown.

Bud of the inflorescence
Bud of the inflorescence
The inflorescence bud is opening.
The inflorescence bud is opening.
The inflorescence in full bloom
The inflorescence in full bloom

 

The flower has 6 petals fused to form a corolla tube, 6 stamens and a pistil.
The flower has 6 petals fused to form a corolla tube, 6 stamens and a pistil.
Agapanthus with white flowers with yellow anthers
Agapanthus with white flowers with yellow anthers

After fertilization, the stamens and the petals withered. The ovary develops into a fruit and the ovules develop into seeds.

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The ovaries develop and enlarge into young fruit. The style remains on some developing fruit.
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The young fruit on the left was cut transversely and that on the right was cut longitudinally to show the developing seeds inside.

 

Agapanthus plants are an excellent choice for landscaping around the pool or the edge of a driveway or fence. The commonly grown agapanthus form clumps up to a metre across with flowers a metre or more tall.

Agapanthus plants lining a pathway
Agapanthus plants lining a pathway

 

 

 

 

A drawing and a painting of Agapanthus

A botanical drawing of Agapanthus - on a table mat.
A botanical drawing of Agapanthus – on a table mat.
Claude Monet, circa 1915 - 1920, oil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm, Collection of Mr and Mrs J Slifka
Claude Monet, circa 1915 – 1920, oil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm, Collection of Mr and Mrs J Slifka

Bibliography :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agapanthus

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