Blue fireworks bloom for Independence Day.

The Nile River Valley is a region of extremes. It floods at times, but is hot and dry at other times. Lily of the Nile, Agapanthus orientalis, naturally survives it all. It can easily survive here. However, it survives arid heat by shedding a bit of foliage. Therefore, it is generally healthier here with at least occasional watering through the warmest weather of summer.

The almost spherical floral umbels of lily of the Nile explode into bloom like blue or white fireworks, just in time for Independence Day. They are about six to eight inches wide, on elegantly bare and slightly leaning stalks that stand about four feet tall. Individual flowers are only about an inch or two long. Flowers bloom only once annually, but last for weeks.

With or without bloom, the dense and evergreen foliage of lily of Nile is always lush. The soft and strap shaped leaves are about a foot and a half long, and flare outward from low basal rosettes. New foliage obscures deteriorated old foliage. Fleshy roots firmly secure plump rhizomes. Division relieves crowded rhizomes, and contains their slow migration.

2 thoughts on “Lily Of The Nile

    1. That is why they are so underappreciated. They were too common years ago. I do not care. I have enjoyed growing mine since I was in junior high school. However, I do prefer mine to the many less impressive modern cultivars. They are bigger and coarser, which I know is less desirable in landscapes, but I do not grow them for landscapes. To me, some of the modern cultivars really do seem to be ‘slightly’ mundane.

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