Lily of the Nile
Agapanthus x africanus 'Tinkerbell' Lily of the Nile, or African Lily. originated as a sport of A. africanus 'Peter Pan,' but is even smaller than 'Peter Pan.'
It is not the most reliably blooming Agapanthus, so is grown mainly for the bright variegated foliage. Frankly, I wouldn't've bought it if I'd known it was a poor bloomer; it has been dishonestly marketed, as every tag in every nursery I've ever seen notes the color of the flower is blue, but never notes it rarely blooms. A lily that may never produce flowers would be nobody's first choice, so the marketing angle leaves out this significant lack.
Nevertheless, as can be seen in the May photograph, there's no question but that the foliage is beautiful.
The broad grassy leaves have a pale green stripe down the full length, edged in creamy white. In the odd case when this dwarf variegated form does flower, it has the same violet-blue umbels as 'Peter Pan.' A slow-release fertilizer once a year will increase the possibility of seeing the bloom.
This sport has lost a some of the species' hardiness & needs a bit of protection from harsh elements. It is often recommended for containers or even to be grown indoors. We wanted it for the garden, so found for it a full-sun location amidst succulent lewisias, on a raised garden's ledge where drainage is sharpest. The chances are not good for 'Tinkerbell' perennializing, so it is apt to be a transient presence in our sun-garden.
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