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Products > Agapanthus 'Storm Cloud'
Agapanthus 'Storm Cloud' - Dark Blue Agapanthus

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Amaryllidaceae (Onions)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Dark Blue
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Agapanthus 'Storm Cloud' (Dark Blue Agapanthus) - This agapanthus produces luxurious green foliage that tinges purple-red in the winter months. In summer appear the large umbels of deep blue flowers that rise far above the foliage on 3-4 foot tall blackish stems in summer. Plant in full sun or part shade, with moderate water. Hardy to 20-25 degrees F. This cultivar was introduced by The Saratoga Horticultural Foundation who noted in their literature that "The original specimen of this plant was a seedling produced by Barrie Coate from the cultivar A. 'Mood Indigo,' a hybrid developed by the Los Angeles State and Country Arboretum by hybridizing A. africanus with A. pendulus, a very dark purple species. The cultivar now called 'Storm Cloud' was selected for its production of 3' to 4' flower stems, 100 flowers per umbel and very dark blue-violet flower color." 'Mood Indigo' was actually accessioned by The Los Angeles Arboretum as being an Agapanthus inapertus and A. africanus hybrid that was created by staff member George Lewis but likely the one parent was a Agapanthus orientalis variety and not actually Agapanthus africanus, as these names have long been confused in horticulture. Barrie Coate collected seed from open pollinated plants of 'Mood Indigo' and sowed 10 flats of seed and in 1987 began evaluating plants the some odd 7,000 seedlings that had remained evergreen over the first winter and from these selected 1,000 plants whose foliage remained the darkest green the next winter and these were potted into 1 gallon pots. The following year these plants flowered and only the darkest were held onto and these potted into 5 gallon containers. From this group 3 plants were selected, potted into 15 gallon pots and further evaluated until finally one plant was chosen and this lone clone reproduced in a micropropagation laboratory. We purchased our first plants of 'Storm Cloud' from The Saratoga Horticultural Foundation in 1993. There is some additional confusion as the name 'Storm Cloud was also used for a selection of Agapanthus that was made by Jimmy Giridlian of Oakhurst Gardens in 1943. We have made comparisons of plants reputed to be this Giridlian form but in side to side comparisons, these plants appear identical to the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation plant and we feel that Giridlian's plant was likely been lost over the years. Compared to A. 'Ellamae': Storm Cloud is a slightly smaller plant with smaller flowers of a darker blue. The name Agapanthus is derived from the Greek words 'agapé', meaning "love" or "friendship" and 'anthos', meaning "flower" and it is for this reason that "Love Flower" is sometimes given as its common name, though there does not seem to be any colloquial usage of this name and the reason for naming it as such remains unclear. Some have suggested that the translation could be interpreted as "lovely flower", "flower of love" or if the name originated from the word 'Agapeo' which means "to be contented with" it could just refer to a flower Charles Louis L'Héritier, who first used the name Agapathus, was well pleased with. A good accounting of this is presented by Wim Snoeijer in his Agapanthus: A Revision of the Genus Timber Press 2004 but essentially Carl Linnaeus (the father of modern taxonomy) in 1753 published the name Crinum africanum for a plant likely brought back to Holland from the Cape of Good Hope by 1679. In 1789 Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle, the Director of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, changed the name of this plant to Agapanthus but used the invalid specific epithet umbellatus instead of preserving Linnaeus species name africanus. This mistake has perpetuated naming problems within the genus ever since. In addition the common "Lily of the Nile" is often used for this plant that originated in South Africa and not along the Nile River.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Agapanthus 'Storm Cloud'.