1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/African Lily

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AFRICAN LILY (Agapanthus umbellatus), a member of the natural order Liliaceae, a native of the Cape of Good Hope, whence it was introduced at the close of the 17th century. It is a handsome greenhouse plant, which is hardy in the south of England and Ireland if protected from severe frosts. It has a short stem bearing a tuft of long, narrow, arching leaves, 1/2 to 2 ft. long, and a central flower-stalk, 2 to 3 ft. high, ending in an umbel of bright blue, funnel-shaped flowers. The plants are easy to cultivate, and are generally grown in large pots or tubs which can be protected from frost in winter. During the summer they require plenty of water, and are very effective on the margins of lakes or running streams, where they thrive admirably. They increase by offsets, or may be propagated by dividing the root-stock in early spring or autumn. A number of forms are known in cultivation; such are albidus, with white flowers, aureus, with leaves striped with yellow, and variegatus, with leaves almost entirely white with a few green bands. There are also double-flowered and larger and smaller flowered forms.