the love flower

I keep forgetting I have a photographic memory, and can’t remember where I got this Agapanthus campanulatus. I think it’s a named variety, from wild-collected seed, that came from the now-gone Seneca Hill Perennials in Oswego, New York.

It’s blooming earlier than the ‘Headbourne Hybrids’, which came from Dunford Farms in Sumner, Washington, over twenty years ago. The hybrids, which look pretty much just like the plant pictured, are in bud, usually blooming at the end of July or early August.

I don’t do anything to these plants except water them. They can look extremely sad, as sad as a border collie who thinks he’s never going on his walk ever again, if they go without water for too long. The hybrids have seeded around, some, and, at least once, one of the plants had lifted itself out of the ground so much that the roots were exposed during a particularly cold winter. So much for the supposed need for mulch.

I guess the name agapanthus comes from the Greek agape, love, and anthos, flower, for reasons unknown to me. Agapanthus is also called “lily of the Nile”, for reasons unknown to anyone, since it’s not a lily, and the Nile is in Egypt and the Sudan, not in South Africa.

The Plantzafrica website has some interesting information about the various species, of which I think the only ones growable here are Agapanthus campanulatus, and maybe A. inapertus (I tried that one, it died, but that means nothing until I try it ten times).

There’s a white-flowered form that’s hardy, too. I do realize that these aren’t the most exciting plants in the world, especially compared to what else is in this little garden, but for that, we’ll have to wait.

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