Agapanthus is the only genus in the subfamily Agapanthoideae of the flowering plant family Amaryllidaceae. The family is in the monocot order Asparagales. The name is derived from scientific Greek: αγάπη (agape) = love, άνθος (anthos) = flower.
Some species of Agapanthus are commonly known as lily of the Nile (or African lily in the UK), although they are not lilies and all of the species are native to South Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Limpopo River.
Species boundaries are not clear in the genus, and in spite of having been intensively studied, the number of species recognized by different authorities varies from 6 to 10.