Agapanthus: summery white

From pale blue to dark blue, Agapanthus is available in the most diverse shades of blue. And as if that was not enough, they also come in summery white.

Hundreds of varieties

Agapanthus is a perennial with tuberous rhizomes which is usually classified as a bulb flower. Long and slender flower stems with a bud appear amongst the elongated leaves in the summer. From this bud emerges an umbel. There are hundreds of varieties of Agapanthus. Most are blue – from pale blue to deep dark blue – but there are also white varieties.

Flower of love

The Agapanthus only grows wild in South Africa. Amongst the Xhosa people in South Africa it is customary for brides to wear a chain of dried Agapanthus roots as a symbol of fertility. This may also be the source of the title ‘flower of love’. That is the literal

meaning of the name Agapanthus, a combination of the Greek words ‘agape’ (love) and ‘anthos’ (flowers).

Agapanthus… flower of love!

Merchants from the Dutch East India Company brought the plant to Europe in the seventeenth century. Agapanthus now has a long history as a tub and garden plant. Some thirty years ago breeding produced new cultivars which are highly suitable for cultivation as cut flowers.

Buds open

Dutch Agapanthuses are widely available from the start of April. When buying make sure that the flowers have not been harvested when they are too unripe. Ideally a couple of buds will already be open. Cut a chunk off the stems with a sharp knife. Then place the flowers in a clean vase with clean water and cut flower food.

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