Blue/ purple flowers with 6 petals

Seed head forming

Pods opening

Close up of seed

Scientific Name

Agapanthus orientalis


Agapanthus praecox ssp orientalis

Common Names

 Agapanthus, African lily, lily-of-the-Nile, Aunty Aggy's pants


Southern Africa




Distinguishing Characteristics

This is a herb with dense fleshy roots with leaves growing from a short rhizome (underground stem).

Long, strap-like leaves are about 2 cm wide and up to 1m in length.

Flowers are arranged in a terminal cluster and are tubular. They are clear blue or pristine white with 6 petal-like parts. The short lived flowers are produced in summer. The thick strap-like shaped leaves are present year round.

The plant sap in leaves and roots is poisonous. It may cause irritation of the skin and eyes and a severe pain in the mouth if eaten.



Other plants easily confused with this plant

With its thick broad fleshy leaves Agapanthus are not easily confused with other plants. Also for much of the year either flowers or the spent flower stem is present which helps with identification.


Sources & References

"Weeds - an illustrated botanical guide to weeds of Australia" by B. A. Auld and R. W. Medd

"Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney" by Les Robinson

"Plantnet FloraOnline"   (2005)   


Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005

Checked by IEWF, Oct 2005 

Checked by Barbara Wiecek, Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, June 2006