This Asian perennial, which Thomas Jefferson called "Chinese Ixia," is actually a member of the Iris family. Jefferson first received seed from nurseryman Bernard McMahon in 1807, during his second term as President of the United States. These were sown in an East Front oval flowerbed at Monticello. Today the blackberry lilies that are found naturalized throughout Monticello are believed to be descendants of Jefferson's original plantings.
The Blackberry Lily is a hardy, herbaceous summer-flowering perennial with red-spotted orange flowers on stalks, followed by unusual seed heads that resemble blackberries, but the seeds are not edible.
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Blackberry Lily.
Typical Bloom Dates: July—August
Growth Type: Perennial
Color(s): Orange, Reds, Yellow Hardiness
Zones: Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
Location at Monticello: West Lawn
Planting Conditions: Full Sun