'Graskop' Agapanthus

Agapanthus inapertus Beauv. subsp. pendulus (L.Bol.) Leighton ‘GRASKOP’

Family: Agapanthaceae
Common name: Agapanthus, African Lily, Lily of the Nile

This striking agapanthus with its compact head of drooping, dark violet blue flowers is always commented on when first seen. The buds as they emerge seem almost black and are held erect, slowly elongating and finally becoming pendulous as they open.

This clone named ‘Graskop’, occurs in Mpumalanga near the town of Graskop and grows in grassland areas in the summer rainfall area. It is a deciduous species which has narrow light green leaves. Plants stand about 600 mm tall and the flower stems reach a height of 900 mm. They flower in January and February.

The plants need abundant water during the growing season and should be planted in well-drained soil in full sunlight. They make good container plants and are best appreciated in the landscape as specimen plants or in small groups. They can also be mixed with other plants, but must not be overcrowded or they will not flower well. Although deciduous, they do tolerate rain during their dormant period.

They can withstand sub zero temperatures for short periods but at Inverewe in Scotland several nights at minus 10 degrees Celsius killed large clumps. In the northern hemisphere plants in containers can be moved into a glasshouse during winter while plants outdoors should be covered with straw or similar material to help protect them.

Photo: Prof. BM Herbst

Photo: Prof. BM Herbst

Text and photos on this page from the
S A National Biodiversity Institute
Author: Richard Jamieson
January 2001

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