Also known as African lily or lily of the Nile, agapanthus is a summer-blooming perennial that produces big, showy flowers in shades of familiar sky blue, as well as numerous shades of purple, pink and white. If you haven’t yet tried your hand at growing this hardy, drought-tolerant plant, the many different types of agapanthus on the market are bound to pique your curiosity. Read on to learn more about species and varieties of agapanthus.
Varieties of Agapanthus
Here are the most common types of agapanthus plants:
Agapanthus orientalis (syn. Agapanthus praecox) is the most common type of agapanthus. This evergreen plant produces wide, arching leaves and stems that reach heights of 4 to 5 feet. Varieties include white flowering types such as ‘Albus,’ blue varieties like ‘Blue Ice,’ and double forms such as ‘Flore Pleno.’
Agapanthus campanulatus is a deciduous plant that produces strappy leaves and drooping flowers in shades of dark blue. This variety is also available in ‘Albidus,’ which displays big umbels of white blooms in summer and early fall.
Agapanthus africanus is an evergreen variety that displays narrow leaves, deep blue flowers with distinctive bluish anthers, and stalks reach heights of no more than 18 inches. Cultivars include ‘Double Diamond,’ a dwarf variety with double white blooms; and ‘Peter Pan,’ a tall plant with big, sky blue blooms.
Agapanthus caulescens is a beautiful deciduous agapanthus species that you probably won’t find in your local garden center. Depending on the sub-species (there are at least three), colors range from light to deep blue.
Agapanthus inapertus ssp. pendulus ‘Graskop,’ also known as grassland agapanthus, produces violet-blue flowers that rise above tidy clumps of pale green leaves.
Agapanthus sp. ‘Cold Hardy White’ is one of the most attractive hardy agapanthus varieties. This deciduous plant produces big clusters of showy white blooms in mid-summer.