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Pentapetes phoenicea - Scarlet Pentapetes
Scientific Name: Pentapetes phoenicea
Common Name: Scarlet Pentapetes
Thomas Jefferson sowed seed of this tender annual along his flower border in 1811, calling it "Scarlet Mallow."1 He likely received seed from Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon, who noted the flower in his 1806 book, The American Gardener's Calendar.2
This plant has tender, ornamental, annual flowers with scarlet, mallow-like blossoms that open at noon and close at dawn. The foliage is a distinctive, olive green with serrated edges.
- Peggy Cornett, n.d.
- 1. Betts, Garden Book, 445. Manuscript and transcription available online at the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts, Massachusetts Historical Society. 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), 73.
- 2. See Bernard McMahon, The American Gardener's Calendar, 1806 (Charlottesville: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1997).