9th July 2018
The origins of Agapanthus date back to 1629 when they were first introduced to the UK. Called the Love Flower from Africa they would have been highly desirable and only affordable by those who had deep pockets. Their exotic look with striking dark blue to creamy-white star-burst flowers would have attracted a lot of attention as there would have been nothing quite like them flowering in August.
With its mild maritime climate Cornwall and its coastal gardens such as Trebah Gardens suited this tender perennial. With its ability to tolerate salt and thrive in poor soil a wide variety of Agapanthus would have grown out of every available crevice even colonising the sand dunes of Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly. The most hardy form is Agapanthus praecox subsp orientalis, although even this is often grown in pots and brought in during the winter outside of the Southwest.
Agapanthus bloom time is focused on summer time, but depending on the species, if you plan carefully, you can have an agapanthus flowering from spring until the first frost in autumn. Here are a few examples to give you an idea of the many possibilities: .
- ‘Peter Pan’ – This dwarf, evergreen agapanthus produces pale blue flowers throughout the summer.
- ‘Snow Storm’ – Shows off in a big way with snow white clusters in late summer and early autumn.
- ‘Albus’ – Another pure white agapanthus that lights up the garden in late summer and early autumn.
- ‘Black Pantha’ – A relatively new variety that produces nearly black buds that open to a deep shade of violet blue in spring and summer.
- ‘Lilac Flash’ – This unusual cultivar reveals sparkly, lilac blooms in midsummer.
- ‘Blue Ice’ – This early- to mid-summer bloomer bears deep blue flowers that eventually fade to a pure white base.
- ‘White Ice’ – Waxy, pure white blooms appear from spring until late summer.
- ‘Amyethyst’ – This dwarf plant is super-impressive with subtle lilac flowers, each marked with a contrasting deep lilac stripe.
- ‘Storms River’ – An evergreen plant that displays abundant clusters of pale blue blooms in midsummer.
- ‘Selma Bock’ – Another evergreen variety, this one reveals white, blue-throated flowers toward the end of the blooming season.