While in Philadelphia in December 1790, Jefferson sent a collection of seeds to Monticello that included "some seed of the Cypress vine for Patsy" (his eldest daughter, Martha). The following March, Martha wrote back that she and "Polly" (his daughter, Maria) had "planted the cypress vine in boxes in the window," perhaps to serve as houseplants. This tender annual vine was also grown in other Virginia gardens in the eighteenth century. The Cypress Vine is a Morning Glory relative with star-shaped scarlet and white flowers that provide a vivid contrast to plant's lacy green foliage. Like the Morning Glory, the Cypress vine will twine up a trellis, pole, young tree, fence, or, as we use at Monticello, four-foot-high branches or "pea sticks" pruned from our own trees.
Visit Monticello's Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Cypress Vine.