ag·​a·​pan·​thus ˌa-gə-ˈpan(t)-thəs How to pronounce agapanthus (audio)
plural agapanthus also agapanthuses
: any of several African plants (genus Agapanthus) of the lily family cultivated for their umbels of showy blue, purple, or white flowers

Examples of agapanthus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Remove the Asiatic jasmine from the agapanthus and prune it back to its own area of the landscape. Tom MacCubbin,, 23 Nov. 2019 Add succulents for firescaping (landscaping for fire prevention), and plant summer-blooming bulbs like agapanthus. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 16 Mar. 2020 Divide and replant any overcrowded perennials, including agapanthus, chrysanthemums, and daylilies. Thad Orr, Sunset Magazine, 10 Feb. 2020 Since only a few gardeners are likely to sow seeds from agapanthus, also known as the Lily of the Nile, the stalks that have completed flowering can be cut back to within the foliage. Tom MacCubbin,, 29 June 2019 Story Continued Below Plant summer blooming bulbs such as crocosmia, gingers, lilies, canna, pineapple lily (Eucomis), elephant ears, crinum, agapanthus and others. Dan Gill,, 20 Apr. 2019 Southern California Plant summer-blooming bulbs, corms, and tubers, including acidanthera, agapanthus, tuberous begonias, caladiums, calla lilies, dahlias, daylilies, gladiolus, iris, ixia, montbretias, tiger flowers, tuberoses, and watsonias. Thad Orr, Sunset, 22 Jan. 2018 Bulb-type plants: Achimenes, African iris, agapanthus, amaryllis, blackberry lily, bulbine, caladiums, canna, crinum, crocosmia, day lily, eucharis lily, gladiolus, gloriosa lily, peacock ginger, society garlic, rain lily and walking iris. Tom MacCubbin,, 26 May 2018 Plant summer-blooming bulbs: Now is a good time to plant crocosmia, gingers, lilies, canna, pineapple lily (Eucomis), elephant ears, crinum, agapanthus and others. Dan Gill,, 29 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'agapanthus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, genus name, probably borrowed from Greek agápē "love, affection" + ánthos "flower" — more at agape entry 2, anthology

Note: The genus name was introduced by Charles Louis L'Hériter de Brutelle in Sertum Anglicum, seu Plantae Rariores quae in Hortis juxta Londinum, Imprimis in Horto Regio Kewensis excoluntur, ab anno 1786 ad annum 1787 observatae (Paris, 1788; actually published in parts, 1789-93), p. 10. L'Héritier provides no explanation for the name.

First Known Use

circa 1789, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of agapanthus was circa 1789

Dictionary Entries Near agapanthus

Cite this Entry

“Agapanthus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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