Jefferson’s Tuberoses

Thomas Jefferson

On this day in 1806, Thomas Jefferson’s 24 double tuberoses, Polianthes tuberosa,were blooming.
Jefferson had obtained them from Bernard McMahan’s nursery, and he wrote McMahan the following January to request more tuberoses.
McMahan has also created a gardener calendar that included a list of seeds, including month by month instructions. The schedule was so foundational to Thomas Jefferson‘s gardening practice that McMahan became his garden mentor. The two exchanged regular letters about gardening.
And, it was Jefferson who selected McMahan to cultivate the specimens collected by Lewis and Clark - which he did.


This post was featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

helping gardeners find their roots,
one story at a time
President Thomas Jefferson
President Thomas Jefferson

Leave a Comment