WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images

Lily of the Nile

Scientific name: Agapanthus orientalis

Type:Bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes
Plant Requirements
Zone:7 to 11
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:5 ft
Width:2 ft
Bloom:Summer flowers
Bloom Time:June to August
Bloom Color:Blue
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Lily of the Nile is a South African native plant that forms clusters of blue or white flower heads that resemble firework displays during the summer months.

Lily of the Nile, also known as Agapanthus or African Lily, is classified as a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial that forms large clusters (umbels) of blue, funnel-shaped flowers (2” long) atop a long stalk from June through August. Each umbel may consist of 40-100 individual flowers. Each flower consists of 6 petal-like parts. This species typically grows to height of 4’-5’ and a width of 1’-2’. Leaves form at the base of the plant. They are 1’-2’ long, 3” wide, and light green in color. There are also cultivars of Lily of the Nile that bear white flowers.

African Lily prefers full sun to half shade. During hot weather it needs regular watering. It will grow well in a wide array of soil types, though it prefers ones which are rich in organic matter. New plants should be set out at a spacing of 1’-2’.

Care should be taken in handling Agapanthus as all parts are considered poisonous if ingested. Skin irritation or allergic reactions have also been found.

The flower stems are excellent for cut flowers. Gardeners often set out a mass planting of Agapanthus.

None reported if grown in sunny, well drained site. Watch for slugs and snails in a shady spot.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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