Cultivated by the mid 1700s, the Crown Imperial Lily, with its bell-shaped blossoms pendulously crowning the top of a three-foot stem, was much sought after, and Jefferson requested samples of this dramatic lily from Bernard McMahon five times before finally receiving three bulbs in 1812. By 1816, Jefferson's plantings at Monticello were strong enough to have shoots forwarded to his retreat home, Poplar Forest.
At Monticello, the orange/red-flowered 'Rubra' and yellow-flowered 'Lutea' varieties both appear.
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Crown Imperial Lily.
Typical Blooming Dates: April
Growth Type: Bulb
Blossom Color(s): Yellow, Orange
Hardiness Zones: 6–9
Location at Monticello: West Lawn
Planting Conditions: Full Sun