Weed of the Month – April 2016


(Agapanthus praecox subsp. orientalis)


(Photos: E. Cousins; leaves and habit, 6-petalled  blue flower, three-sided fruits.)

Here’s another fence-jumper!  This is a really hardy garden plant, with long, dense strappy leaves the whole year round, a tuberous/rhizomous root system, and lovely, lanky 1m flower stems that abound in summer. Low maintenance, showy, grows just about anywhere, drought resistant…no wonder they are so popular! Each flower stem produces up to 100 blue or white bell-shaped flowers; each flower can produce a three-sided fruit, and fruits can produce 20-100 viable seeds …that’s a lot of seeds per plant, to be spread on coastal winds! So please, dead-head the flower stems when the fruits are green (or earlier) before this lovely plant becomes another problem for the coastline!! Alternatively, buy hybridized cultivars that set very little seed e.g. miniatures, or Queen Mum.