Agapanthus is a genus of six species of fleshy-rooted perennials with a long history of taxonomic confusion. It was originally included in the lily family (Liliaceae), was then moved to the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae), moved again into the onion family (Alliaceae), went back to Amaryllidaceae and now resides in its own family, the Agapanthaceae, a sister family to the Amaryllidaceae. Despite the common name of Lily-of-the-Nile, they are not native to the Nile River basin of northeastern Africa; this monotypic family (consisting of only one genus) is actually endemic to southern Africa. In its native areas, Agapanthus is considered to be both a magical and a medicinal plant, used to treat heart disease, paralysis, coughs, colds and other ailments, and the leaves are used as bandages (the plant does contain chemicals with anti-inflammatory and other properties). However, the plant’s sap can cause minor irritation or dermatitis in susceptible individuals, and will cause severe pain in the mouth if ingested.