This Agapanthus was previously known as Agapanthus dyeri. It is an almost mythical agapanthus, very
rarely seen in cultivation. It grows in two isolated areas, hundreds
of kilometres apart. The flowers are an attractive mid-blue but
light blue forms also exist.
leaves are mainly erect, the tips sometimes bending over. They are
350 x 15 mm. The plant is deciduous. The flowers which occur in
January to February are mid-blue and open-faced, becoming pendulous
as they open. Light blue flowers have also been noted. The flower
stalk is about 0.8 m in height. In cultivation the whole plant becomes
more robust and flower stalks can be about 1.6 m tall.
Agapanthus inapertus subsp. intermedius is found in the Blaauberg in Limpopo Province
and near Namaachas in Mozambique, where it is plentiful. The plants
grow in grassland and in between rocks in mountainous terrain, forming
large clumps. They occur in summer rainfall areas and would not
survive extreme cold.
This species was previously named after Dr R.A. Dyer, the former Director
of the Botanical Research Institute in South Africa. The plants
were first collected in 1954 on Blaauberg and in 1955 in Mozambique.
Leighton in her 1965 publication, The genus Agapanthus L'Heritier,
recognized ten species of Agapanthus. Zonneveld & Duncan
(2003), who used nuclear DNA content and pollen vitality and colour,
recognized are only six species. These are A. campanulatus, A.
caulescens, A. coddii, A. praecox, A. inapertus and A. africanus.
Agapanthus dyeri was found to have the same nuclear DNA amounts
as A. inapertus.
As with the other Agapanthus species, Agapanthus inapertus subsp. intermedius is
pollinated by wind, insects and birds. Seed is dispersed by wind.
Although some species such as Agapanthus praecox and A.
campanulatus are used medicinally, A. inapertus subsp. intermedius does not
appear to be used by local people.
Growing Agapanthus inapertus subsp. intermedius
cultivation, Agapanthus inapertus subsp. intermedius becomes more robust in growth
with large leaves and tall flower stalks. It is an attractive species
with its pendulous, open-faced, mid-blue flowers. It also flowers
late in the season (January-February) and although it is deciduous,
it does not appear to go completely dormant in Cape Town. In a colder
climate the plants would become dormant.
This plant grows easily from fresh seed. See A
praecox for details of how to grow agapanthus from seed.
It multiplies rapidly. It is easy to split but will need a compost-rich
soil and water in the growing season. It is best used in the back
of a border because of its tall flower stalks. The leaves are sometimes
eaten by caterpillars late in the season and the new growth can
also be eaten off by slugs and snails.
- Germishuizen, G., Meyer, N.L., Steenkamp, Y. & Keith, M. (eds) 2006. A Checklist of South African plants. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 41. SABONET, Pretoria.
- Duncan, G. 2002. Grow agapanthus. Kirstenbosch Gardening
Series. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.
- Leighton, F.M. 1965. The genus Agapanthus L'Heritier. Journal
of South African Botany, Suppl. Vol. No. 4.
- Zonneveld, B.J.M. & Duncan, G.D. 2003. Taxonomic implications
of genome size and pollen colour and vitality for species of Agapanthus
L'Heritier (Agapanthaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution
Kirstenbosch Garden Centre