Hardy, herbaceous summer-flowering perennial
Description: Robust plant with iris-like foliage and red-spotted orange flowers on tall stalks, followed by unusual seed heads that resemble blackberries, but the seeds are not edible
Habit: Grows 2-5' tall and 2' wide; spreads slowly
Culture: Prefers full sun or light shade and well-drained, moderately rich garden loam; tolerates dry conditions
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5
Attributes: Showy fruit, Drought tolerant, Deer resistant
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. These were sown in an East Front oval flowerbed at Monticello. Today the blackberry lilies that are found naturalized around Monticello are believed to be descendants of Jefferson's original plantings. Our plants are propagated from seed collected at Monticello.