AGAPANTHUS or AFRICAN LILY

P. Half-hardy perennials with long, evergreen, strap-shaped leaves and thick, fleshy roots. They are often grown in large pots, ornamental vases or tubs for a late summer display in the garden. Agapanthus orientalis (umbellatus) is the most widely grown species. It bears large umbels of blue flowers on stems up to 3 ft. high in August and September. There are dark blue, porcelain blue and white forms.

Agapanthus demands light, rich, well-drained soil, a sunny position and copious waterings during dry weather. Plants grown in pots etc. are transferred to the greenhouse in autumn and placed under the staging away from frost. They may also be stored in a frost-proof garden shed. Do not transfer to the open before May. In some districts, agapanthus may be left in the open ground if protected with a covering of ashes, bracken or old Michaelmas daisy tops. They are easily increased by division of the clumps in early spring.

AGASTACHE MEXICANA or BRITTONASTRUM MEXICANUM An attractive border perennial with aromatic foliage flowering in late summer. The colour is rosy-crimson and the flowers are borne in whorls, the entire plant somewhat resembling a monarda (bergamot). Winter protection may be needed in cold districts, or on heavy soils. Increase by division in spring.

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