Agapanthus africanus (Kleinbloulelie, Miniature Agapanthus) is used medicinally and magically. It is a popular eco-gardening plant.
Agapanthus africanus Monograph
This monograph contains details of Agapanthus africanus as per the references cited below. If you can provide any additional information, photos or reliable records, or spot any errors, please leave a comment below or in The Muthi Flora of southern Africa Facebook group.
Traditional Medicinal Uses of Agapanthus africanus
Administered to people only: Root infusions are used for chest troubles and as emetic expectorants for coughs, Hot root infusions are taken daily as emetics for heart disease. Roots are sometimes used with Typha capensis rhizomes in medicines known as isihlambezo and taken during the last three months of pregnancy to ensure healthy children and in more concentrated forms, to augment or induce labour. Roots are also sometimes used, with other roots, in infusions known as inembe which are taken during pregnancy. They are used in enemas given to young children for an ailment known as inyoni. (Hutchings et.al.)
Root decoctions are taken orally or as enemas by Xhosa women during pregnancy to ensure easy labour and delivery of the placenta and a healthy child free from bowel trouble. Decoctions and infusions are given to Pondo infants before the first feed. (Hutchings et.al.)
Applied in a magical sense: Root infusions are taken as love charm emetics and as emetics by people afraid of thunderstorms and they are used as protective sprinkling against thunder. (Hutchings et.al.)
Caution: Suspected of causing haemolytic poisoning in humans. The sap causes severe ulceration of the mouth. (Hutchings et.al.)
Agapanthus africanus has a short stem bearing a tuft of long, narrow, arching leaves 10–35 cm long and 1–2 cm broad, and a central flower stalk 25–60 cm tall, ending in an umbel of 20-30 white, or bright blue, funnel-shaped flowers, each flower 2.5–5 cm diameter. This tufted, hardy, evergreen perennial is impressive in mass plantings or borders along flowerbeds and paths. It is also a good plant for the difficult areas that are in shade for part of the year. They attract insects to the garden and thus birds. Agapanthus africanus forms clumps and needs to be split every 3-4 years to retain their attractiveness. (Wildflower Nursery)
Arnold. T.H., Prentice, C.A., Hawker, L.C., Snyman, E.E., Tomalin, M., Crouch, N.R. and Pottas-Bircher, C. (2002). Medicinal and magical plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 13. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
Hutchings, A., Scott, A.H., Lewis, G., Cunnigham, A.B., (1996). Zulu Medicinal Plants: an inventory. University of Natal
Wildflower Nursery – https://wildflowernursery.co.za/indigenous-plant-database/agapanthus-africanus/. Accessed on 2020/01/06