Agapanthus africanus

Paul Tyerman
Tue, 15 Nov 2005 15:03:36 PST
At 07:32 AM 16/11/2005, you wrote:
>I've added Cameron's pictures of this species to the wiki.
>   Do we think we should rename Paul Tyerman's picture of this species? I
>have noted that it is probably A. praecox.

Mary Sue, Cameron etc,

I was going to ask about my species pic as I realise that by the 
sound of it it won't be the real thing.  It definitely does resemble 
the pics from Cameron though.  A rather delicate plant, quite long 
and thin stems (to about 2 foot tall in flower), not exactly 
deciduous but does die down a fair bit.  My picture really doesn't do 
it justice colour-wise, so if it flowers this year for me I'll try 
photographing it with my new camera.  Unfortunately having lost all 
my recent pictures with my hard drive crash I can't even tell you 
when it flowers here as that information was stored with the 
pics.  The foliage definitely has purple at the base of it, which 
could easily rule it out of contention for true species if the true 
species doesn't have that feature?

Unlike many Agapanthus that don't seem to mind being disturbed and 
divided, mine definitely dislikes it.  I have had some plants of it 
die when divided up, although thankfully I have always kept some of 
it alive.  Seedlings uniformly show the purple foliage base so it is 
a stable characteristic in the progeny, and all seem to be sticking 
to the more diminutive growing habit.  If it IS a hybrid then the 
seedlings at this stage seem to be rather uniform of size and shape, 
but I have not had any of them flower as yet so I cannot verify 
whether the flowers are the same (but I think I did send some seed to 
the IBS or PBS exchange at some point from memory..... I think?).  I 
find that it tends to like it hot and dry in summer as it definitely 
seems to prefer smaller pots rather than larger ones (which seem to 
aid in it dying out) so I am assuming that it rots if too wet?

So, does the above information rule it out of contention as the true 
species Cameron/Rhoda?  I know that quite often in Australia we do 
have some unusual things turn up in our gardens that really shouldn't 
be here, as we did have some collectors in the early 20th century 
that brought in some very unusual items to Aus, which have propagated 
out into some of our gardens etc.  Having lost my master list in the 
hard drive loss I can't even tell you where this Agapanthus 
originated, although I have a vague idea that I can follow up if 
desired?  If it IS who I think it came from then they grow a lot of 
their stuff from seed and it may very well be the real species if 
seed of it has been collected in the past?

Anyway, just wanted to add any more information I could think of to 
the discussion.  Happy to rename mine if it is incorrect...... it was 
what I bought it as and it is distinctly different to any other 
Agapanthus I grow (and I have managed to acquire a few over the 
years, somewhat accidentally starting a bit of a collection of them! 
LOL).  My favourite of them would have to be 'Black Pantha' which is 
a cultivar, supposedly found amongst inapertus seedlings in 
Australia, which has buds that are almost black and the flower has 
very dark purple/black and light striping when open.  It has the "mop 
head" type of flowerhead of inapertus and has some of the deciduous 
characteristics.  Altogether a rather distinctive variety and well 
worth growing.  I haven't checked whether it has buds on it this year 
as yet, but hopefully it will so that I can photograph it again.

I hope some of the above is useful!


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia - USDA Zone Equivalent approx. 8/9

Growing an eclectic collection of plants from all over the world 
including Aroids, Crocus, Cyclamen, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, 
Galanthus, Irises, Trilliums (to name but a few) and just about 
anything else that doesn't move!! 

More information about the pbs mailing list