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Thomas Mann Randolph, Thomas Jefferson's horticulturally astute son-in-law, observed the native or American columbine blooming at Monticello on April 30, 1791, and the species can still be found growing wild at Monticello today.[fn]Randolph to Jefferson, April 30, 1791, in PTJ, 20:330. Transcription available at Founders Online. See also Edwin M. Betts, Hazlehurst Bolton Perkins, and Peter J. Hatch, Thomas Jefferson's Flower Garden at Monticello, 3rd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1986), 53-54, and Lawrence D. Griffith, Flowers and Herbs of Early America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 174.[/fn]This ornamental flower was introduced to Europe and documented in British gardens by the 1640s.[fn]Joan Parry Dutton, Plants of Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1979), 99. See also Griffith, Flowers and Herbs, 174, and Denise Wiles Adams, Restoring American Gardens: An Encyclopedia of Heirloom Ornamental Plants, 1640-1940 (Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, Inc., 2004), 170.[/fn] In the late 1700s, the Reverend John Banister recorded this species in Virginia, as did John Clayton in the 1750s.[fn]Adams, Restoring American Gardens, 174.[/fn] Bernard McMahon listed seeds for this columbine in his Broadside Catalogue (c. 1800).This columbine is a hardy, spring-flowering North American perennial with scarlet and yellow flowers appearing on tall, delicate stems above attractive, medium green foliage.Further Sources
- Leighton, Ann. American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986.
- McMahon, Bernard. The American Gardener's Calendar, 1806. Charlottesville: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1997. See pp. 151, 291, and 292.
- Seeds available for purchase at Monticello Museum Shop.
- Stuart, David and James Sutherland. Plants from the Past: Old Flowers for New Gardens. London: Penguin Books, 1989.
- Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants.
Color(s):Yellow, Reds, Orange
Hardiness Zones:Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Location at Monticello:East Lawn
Blooming History:2001 Apr 28 to 2001 Jun 112002 Apr 1 to 2002 Jun 212003 Mar 31 to 2003 Jul 102004 Mar 29 to 2004 Jun 162005 Apr 12 to 2005 Jul 12006 Mar 31 to 2006 Jun 302007 Apr 6 to 2007 Jul 62008 Apr 10 to 2008 Jun 242009 Apr 6 to 2009 Jun 192010 Apr 6 to 2010 Jun 212011 Mar 29 to 2011 Jul 72012 Mar 22 to 2012 Jun 222013 Apr 11 to 2013 Jul 32014 Apr 24 to 2014 Jun 252015 Apr 22 to 2015 Jul 12016 Apr 15 to 2016 Jun 102017 Apr 13 to 2017 Jun 302018 Apr 25 to 2018 Jun 28