On April 16, 1766, in one of the earliest observations in his garden book, Thomas Jefferson noted "a bluish colored, funnel-formed flower in lowgrounds in bloom." Long before Jefferson's observation, the North American flower had been introduced to Britain. According to Philip Miller's 1754 edition of The Gardener's Dictionary, Reverend John Banister sent seeds from Virginia to England in the 1600s, but the plants produced from Banister's seeds had eventually died out. In the 1730s, Williamsburg's John Custis sent roots to his patron, Peter Collinson.
The Virginia bluebell is a hardy, North American, early spring-flowering perennial with delicate, terminal clusters of light pink buds, which open to flared, long-tubular, sky-blue to purple flowers.
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Virginia Bluebell.
Typical Blooming Dates: April–May
Growth Type: Perennial
Blossom Color(s): Blue, Pink
Hardiness Zones: 3–8
Location at Monticello: East and West Lawn
Planting Conditions: Part Shade