Mediterranean Agapanthas

Just returned from Portugal to this amazing tropical weather that has brought into flower one of my favourite low maintenance plants – the majestic agapanthas.

Agapanthas grow in great big clumps of fabulous showy flowers all over Portugal. If summer temperatures continue to be this high, then the future could see SE England offering similar scenes to these photos that I took just a few days ago near a fabulous place called Obidos, about an hour North of Lisbon:




These wonderful plants look really impressive in pots or in a border evoking a continental feel to the dullest of English gardens. They originate from South Africa and are more commonly known as the South African Blue Lilly

Flower structure

Agapanthus have flower-heads known as umbels, which are large and rounded and made up of many tubular flowers. Some, such as A. inapertus have pendulous flowers. Their colour ranges from shades of blue through to violet, but there are also pure white forms. Deciduous varieties, such as ‘Blue Globe’ and ‘White Superior’, are more hardy cultivars for the garden. Evergreen species include the majestic A. comptonii, a frost-tender species that is ideal for containers.

Plant history

Agapanthus come in a range of colours from blue to white

The name agapanthus is derived from the Greek ‘agape’, meaning love, and ‘anthos’, flower. The plants were brought back to Europe in the seventeenth century by the first European settlers when they stopped in the cape to replenish their supplies. Agapanthus africanus was first introduced to Europe in 1679. Its origins in the cooler temperatures of the Western Cape, made it an ideal candidate for exporting.

In the late 1940s, the Hon. Lewis Palmer raised the Headbourne Hybrids, a reliable and hardy deciduous group of seedlings in his garden at Headbourne Worthy, Hampshire.

They thrive in dry, poor soil and love drought  so are perfect for this wonderful hot summer weather -fnd out more about how to grow agapanthas and buy plants at:


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- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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