Things Named Jefferson: The Plant Edition

Jeffersonia diphylla or Twinleaf is an uncommon spring flower named after the “Titan of Tuckahoe” in 1792 by botonist Benjamin Smith Barton, a contemporary of TJ, and fellow member of the American Philosophical Society.

Barton named the short, perennial native to the Eastern U.S. after Jefferson for Jefferson’s rabid passion for Natural History and not for his public service or political ideals.

Ironically, on the date that Jefferson was to be honored by Barton at a Philosophical Society meeting, Jefferson’s mind had turned from botany to zoology as he had invited Mr. Madison over to examine the difference between a Northern Hare and a common one from the market. Its unknown if they compared barbqueing notes or not.

To see photos of Jeffersonia diphylla, click here and here.

Source: Tj wiki; Twinleaf Journal

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