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Virginia Bluebell

Mertensia virginica

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.
Growth Type: 
Perennial
Color(s): 
Blue, Pink
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Location at Monticello: 
East Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Part Shade
Blooming History: 
April 1, 2002 to May 13, 2002April 4, 2003 to May 13, 2003March 29, 2004 to May 5, 2004April 5, 2005 to May 19, 2005March 31, 2006 to May 19, 2006April 6, 2007 to May 15, 2007April 10, 2008 to May 15, 2008March 27, 2009 to May 11, 2009April 6, 2010 to May 10, 2010March 16, 2011 to May 21, 2011March 26, 2012 to May 2, 2012April 11, 2013 to May 7, 2013April 11, 2014 to May 16, 2014April 22, 2015 to May 11, 2015April 1, 2016 to May 6, 2016March 21, 2017 to May 11, 2017April 2, 2018 to May 24, 2018April 11, 2019

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