Common Name: Scarlet Pentapetes
Scientific Name: Pentapetes phoenicea
Jefferson sowed seed of this tender annual along his flower border in 1811, calling it "Scarlet Mallow." He likely received seed from Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon, who noted the flower in his book, The American Gardener's Calendar, 1806.
This plant has tender, ornamental, annual flowers with scarlet, mallow-like blossoms that open at noon and close at dawn. The foliage is a distinctive, olive green with serrated edges.