This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Herbs with tuberous roots and numerous radical linear somewhat fleshy leaves. Perianth funnel-shaped, regular, deeply 6-parted; tube short; segments 1-nerved. Stamens inserted in the throat, declinate, with slender filaments and versatile anthers. Flower-scape tall, naked, bearing a many-flowered umbel supported by an involucre of two bracts. The name is a compound of two Greek words: love, and
a flower. The species are all natives of the Cape of Good Hope, and require covering in Winter. Three have been described, viz.: A, umbellatus, African Lily, the common one, having dark blue or occasionally white flowers; A. prcecox, with light blue flowers, appearing rather earlier; and A. minor, a smaller form with light blue flowers. Possibly these are merely varieties of one species. There is also a variegated variety in cultivation.