Altough Jefferson never recorded growing Geranium at Monticello, he did so at the President's House while serving as President from 1801-1809. Native to South Africa, Geraniums were popular enough in America by 1800 to be featured by Rembrandt Peale in his famous 1801 portrait of his brother Rubens.This species is believed to have been grown by Thomas Jefferson in the President's House.Upon Jefferson's retirement in 1809, Margaret Bayard Smith, a Washington socialite, asked for a geranium Jefferson was growing and the departing president replied: "it is in very bad condition, having been neglected latterly as not intended to be removed. ... if plants have sensibility, as the analogy of their organisation with ours seems to indicate, it cannot but be proudly sensible of her [Mrs. Smith's] fostering attentions."Imported from South Africa into Britain by the early 1700s, this species geranium was an exciting novelty that became one of the parents of our modern bedding geraniums. Geraniums were popular enough in America by 1800 to be featured by Rembrandt Peale in his famous 1801 portrait of his brother Rubens.The geranium is a tender perennial, grown as a houseplant, with velvety green foliage studded with clusters of bright scarlet flowers throughout the year.
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Location at Monticello:
Southeast Piazza (Greenhouse)
April 12, 2019June 20, 2001 to November 15, 2001April 15, 2002 to November 21, 2003December 19, 2003 to November 12, 2004March 29, 2005 to November 15, 2006March 13, 2007 to November 15, 2007July 11, 2008 to November 17, 2008April 17, 2009 to November 15, 2009April 6, 2010 to December 1, 2010May 24, 2012 to December 4, 2012March 21, 2013 to October 17, 2013June 26, 2014 to November 25, 2014July 20, 2016 to October 14, 2016May 18, 2017 to November 10, 2017