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A picture of a Bell Agapanthus

Bell Agapanthus

Agapanthus campanulatus

Also known as

Bell African Lily, African lily

Photo by AlanGardenMaster (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Bell Agapanthus

A photo of Bell Agapanthus
A photo of Bell Agapanthus
A photo of Bell Agapanthus
A photo of Bell Agapanthus
A photo of Bell Agapanthus

Bell Agapanthus Overview

Agapanthus campanulatus is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial species and a great choice for gardens in colder areas. Also known as the Bell Agapanthus, amongst other names, it is frost tolerant, emerges in spring and becomes dormant in winter. This relatively small plant has cultural significance in South Africa where the roots are crushed and made into a lotion that is used to bathe newborn babies to make them strong, and as a protective charm against lightning. Agapanthus campanulatas has strap-shaped, greyish-green leaves. In summer it produces pale to dark lavender-blue, trumpet-shaped flowers in umbels on 1m high upright stems. A versatile plant that suits a variety of sites from urban courtyard to coastal informal gardens, from containers to 'en masse' in wall-side borders. To thrive, it needs a sunny, sheltered spot with moist, well-drained soil.

Common problems with Bell Agapanthus

How to harvest Bell Agapanthus

Seeds must be harvested in autumn when the seed pods have dried out. Flower stalks can be cut for flower arrangements during summer months.

How to propagate Bell Agapanthus


Seeds must be sown fresh in the autumn, or if you are in an area where you receive below freezing temperatures keep the seeds cool in the fridge and sow in the spring.


Divide clusters in winter when the plant is dormant. Deciduous varieties should be divided once every six years.


Divide the tuberous rhizomes in winter when the plant is dormant.


Special features of Bell Agapanthus

Pot plant

Grows very well in large pots.

Drought resistant

This species can withstand drought periods, as it fleshy rhizomes stores water reserves.

Attracts useful insects

Attracts insects like bees and butterflies.

Attracts birds

Attracts nectar eating birds like sunbirds.

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Flowers may be light, deep blue to purple, and striped.

Other uses of Bell Agapanthus

Ground cover

Traditional medicine

Newborn babies are washed in Agapanthus to protect for future life.


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