Lily-of-the-Nile was the first perennial that I divided and propagated on a substantial scale. Back when I was in the seventh grade, I was instructed to remove an overgrown specimen that was nearly a quarter of a century old. It was too tough, big and heavy to dig up intact, but relatively easy to dismantle and remove in smaller pieces. These smaller pieces were all too easy to split into individual rhizomes with single terminal shoots. These individual rhizomes were easily groomed and planted where I thought copies of the same lily-of-the-Nile would be nice. A few years later, these copies were big enough to be dug and divided into even more copies. Nearly four decades later, I am still growing a few copies.

Because it is so resilient and undemanding, lily-of-the-Nile is one of the most common perennials here. They bloom through summer, with their firework shaped blooms at their best in time or the Fourth of July. Now that they are finishing their long bloom season, the deteriorating flowers must be removed, by ‘deadheading’.

1. Lily-of-the-Nile, although common, really is a delightful perennial. I thought I was getting a good representative picture here, but can now see that the two lower blooms in the foreground are fasciated, so are more billowy than typical blooms are. Also, the sunlight at about noon was a bit too harsh for a good picture of the foliage.P90817

2. This very late blooming floral truss is how all the other blooms started out.P90817+

3. This one shows how they look at full bloom. It is only beginning to deteriorate.P90817++

4. As individual florets fall away, these maturing green seed capsuled remain. They slowly dry and turn tan before tossing their seed late in autumn or winter. Of course, they should get pruned out before they do so.P90817+++

5. Lily-of-the-Nile are very easy to work with, but snotty with this goo that flows from all cut floral stems and any damaged leaves. Ick!P90817++++

6. This is the pile of deadheaded bloom that got cut on Wednesday. More will be cut next Wednesday. Almost all typically finish within two weeks or so. However, they started a bit late this year, and are finishing more randomly than they normally do.P90817+++++

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Out Of Africa

      1. That is two months before they bloom here! That is crazy early! Our climate is so mild that I would expect them to bloom later in most other regions. I remember seeing one starting to bloom near Portland at about the same time they start to bloom here, but it was not happy about it.

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  1. Lily of the Nile…..such a lovely alternative name for Agapanthus! they are one of my favourite garden flowers because I just love their showy blooms but alot of people in these parts think of them as weeds…..they have spread widely into rural places hereabouts. popping over from six on saturday….have a great week ahead

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    1. Thank you. Some here consider them to be too common to be cool too. I don’t care. I really like them. I grow only three; my original blue, a comparable white, and a dwarf that is like a bit ‘Peter Pan’. I can do without the fancier modern cultivars, although, I do find some to be pretty in other landscapes.


      1. Corms? Did they look like corms or bulbs, or where they thick rhizomes? They could be something different. Assuming that they are lily-of-the-Nile, they would not be likely to bloom in their first year, as they disperse roots and develop abundant foliage. When the bloom in their second year, each one divides into two. After a few years, some of the crowded rhizomes can be divided if you want more copies.


    1. They don’t mind minor frost, even if they lose their foliage every few years or so, but could not tolerate a hard frost. Even in Portland, they are grown under eaves or in pots to be moved in for winter.

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