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Agapanthus praecox Willd.

Enum.Pl.Hort.Berol. 353 (1809)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Rhizomatous, perennial, herb, to 1 m high. Fl. blue/purple-blue.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 11 September 1997


IBRA Regions
Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Augusta Margaret River, Manjimup, Plantagenet.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Common Agapanthus, Blue Lily, Bloulelie, African-lily.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Primarily seed, also rhizomes. Dispersal. Soil, garden waste, wind. Toxicity. The leaves, roots and sap are poisonous and irritant, and can cause mouth ulceration. Seedbank persistence. Short, days-1 year.

Notes. Most cultivated Agapanthus are cultivars or hybrids of Agapanthus praecox. Sheds old outer leaves each year, replacing them with new leaves from the apex of the growing shoot. Highly variable species, consisting of three subspecies: subsp. praecox, subsp. orientalis and subsp. minimus. Subsp. praecox is distinguished by its longer perianth segments (50 mm or longer) and fewer leaves (10-11 per plant) which are leathery and sub-erect (spreading rather than arching). Species readily hybridise with each other. Survives well in poor soils but prefers rich, well-drained soil with ample organic matter. Requires adequate water in spring and summer.

Additional information. Origin. Winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape Region and all-year rainfall areas of the Eastern Cape Region of South Africa. History of use/introduction. Ornamental, medicines. Similar exotic species. Agapanthus praecox subsp. orientalis.

Suggested method of management and control. Small infestations can be dug out. All of the rhizome must be removed and destroyed off-site, as any remaining rhizomes will regrow even if turned upside down. Moderately resistant to herbicides, surfactants may help improve penetration into the waxy-coated leaves. Remove and burn or deep bury flower heads to stop spread of seed. Spray with 1% Grazon® just prior to flowering. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth             Y Y Y Y Y O  
Germination         U U U            
Flowering Y                 Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y Y Y                  
Manual Removal Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Herbicide Treatment               Y Y Y Y O  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.