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Agapanthus plants line so many roads in South Africa that we tend to forget just how spectacular thee plants are. Thanks to clever breeding programmes these indigenous treasures are now available in a wide range of striking varieties. The Agapanthus is undoubtedly one of our indigenous botanical treasures.

Agapanthus plants has been exported to all corners of the earth, but occurs naturally only in southern Africa, where it grows in the wild in all our provinces except the Northern Cape, as well as in Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique.

The name agapanthus comes from the Greek words agapé (love) and anthos (flower), therefore literally meaning “flower of love”. Locally it is often referred to as blue lily, isicakathi (Xhosa) and ubani (Zulu), while in Europe and America it is popularly known as the African lily.

The Agapanthus is used in many traditional rituals and remedies in southern Africa. Xhosa women make a necklace from the roots of the plant to ensure healthy, strong babies, the Zulu use the plant to treat heart disease and paralysis, and it is said to revive the tired and swollen feet of hikers who wrap their feet in the leaves for half an hour. In fact, scientific studies have revealed that agapanthus does contain several chemical compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.