Agapanthus is the only genus in the subfamily Agapanthoideae of the flowering plant family Amaryllidaceae. The family is in the monocot order Asparagales. Agapanthus is commonly known as "Lily of the Nile", but it is not a lily and all of the species are native to South Africa from the cape to the Limpopo River. This subspecies occurs in Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu-Natal. Although it is about the same height as subsp. praecox, it has up to 20 poisonous, strap-like leaves per plant which are arching and are not leathery. These range in length from 20 to 70 cm long and 3 to 5 cm wide. Flower colour ranges from blue to white. Shiny black seeds are produced in three-sided capsules.
The drooping agapanthus is an attractive, tuberous plant which occurs naturally in open grassland and on forest margins through Mpumalanga, Swaziland, northern KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Northern Province. It often occurs in mountainous, rocky areas and is common along the Drakensberg Escarpment. The beautiful, dark blue to violet (occasionally white) flowers are held in dense heads on stalks up to 1.5m high. The individual flowers are tubular and pendulous (hence the common name "drooping agapanthus"). Flowering takes place from January to March. The plants form dense clumps after a number of years with 6-8 leaves per shoot. The leaves are narrow, strap-shaped, grey-green and form a stem at the base of the plant. They are usually arranged in a fan shape and may be up to 500mm long. Unlike the more commonly cultivated agapanthus, the drooping agapanthus is deciduous and goes completely dormant in the dry winter months.
USDA Zone - 7
Season to sow - Spring
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