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Blackberry Lily

Belamcanda chinensis

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.1 These were sown in an East Front oval flowerbed at Monticello.2 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.

Further Sources

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
Blooming History: 
2001 Jul 12 to 2001 Oct 122002 Jul 5 to 2002 Aug 242003 Jul 18 to 2003 Sep 62004 Jun 24 to 2004 Aug 272005 Jul 11 to 2005 Sep 102006 Jul 11 to 2006 Sep 152007 Jul 6 to 2007 Oct 52008 Jul 11 to 2008 Aug 292009 Jul 10 to 2009 Sep 12010 Jun 18 to 2010 Sep 12011 Jun 28 to 2011 Sep 22012 Jun 22 to 2012 Aug 72013 Jul 9 to 2013 Aug 282014 Jul 2 to 2014 Aug 182015 Jun 5 to 2015 Aug 262016 Jul 4 to 2016 Aug 232017 Jun 30 to 2017 Jul 262018 Jun 27
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Blackberry Lily.

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