Common Name
Lily of the Nile, Agapanthus Lily, African blue lily
Botanic Name
Agapanthus africanus
Plant Family
Sub tropical and tropical areas
Animals Affected
Potentially harmful to household pets
Agapanthus africanus
Toxic Principle
Saponins are present in the plant and could cause gastrointestinal irritation. Agapanthus species have been used in phytomedicine in some parts of Africa to cause abortion and as an aphrodisiac. Extracts from the plant have been shown to have effects upon the uterus causing contractions, possibly due to the production of prostaglandins.
Native to southern Africa, the agapanthus lily is a vigorous perennial in mild climates, and has gained popularity as a potted houseplant in cold climates. Long, arching, strap-shaped leaves are produced from short rhizomes with fleshy roots. Flowers are produced in umbels on tall stems and come in various shades of blue, and occasionally white. Numerous cultivars of this lily are available commercially.
Special Notes
Agapanthus lilies are probably of minimal toxicity to animals unless eaten in quantity. However, where a dog or cat is prone to chewing on plants, it would be prudent to remove the plant from the animals environment.
Agapanthus flowers