Thomas Jefferson's front yard mystery

I've been trying to figure out what plant this is.
http://houdini.till-morning.net/tjcoolplant.jpg
It was a photo taken in Thomas Jefferson's front yard at Montecello.
Can anybody help me identify it?
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On 22 Sep 2004 01:05:32 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (HoudiniMan) wrote:

If you don't get answers here, you might try:
http://www.monticello.org/contact.html
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On 9/22/04 4:05 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com, "HoudiniMan"

A true lily (Lilium) - of some sort. The height makes me think of what I grew up calling a Tigerlily, but I don't know what the proper Latin is.
(I've lost all mine to the dreaded red lily beetles, sigh)
Cheryl
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I'd like to know too, I have them in my yard.... not quite that tall yet but they are here.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (HoudiniMan) wrote:

It looks like an orange tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium). Some do grow 5' tall. People claim to have seen some 9' tall.
Paghat has a photo at: http://www.paghat.com/tigerlily.html
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It is a Turk's cap lily--Lilium superbum. Sue Western Maine
| Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman
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They look very similar but Asian varieties were not available in Jefferson's day so are not grown at Monticello. The American Turk's-cap is much taller than the tiger lily but otherwise so similar & so beautiful that one wonders how or why our wonderful native lily was displaced from American gardening when the tiger lily arrived. I don't have a webpage for the American turk's-cap yet because mine are too young to have bloomed yet, but someday when I have good photos of this lily in my own garden, I'll put up the article I've already researched for it.
-paggers
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (HoudiniMan) wrote:

Montecello gardens aren't supposed to have anything in them that Jefferson himself did not grow. That limits which lily this could be: American Turk's-cap (Lillium superba) native to eastern North America & primarily the Appalachians.
Jefferson received his specimens of the American turk's-cap (Lilium superbum) in 1812 from Bernard McMahon, a Philadelphia nurseryman.
Jefferson also grew the pink European Turk's Cap (Lilium martagon), yellow Canada Martagon (Lilium canadense), & the White Lily later known as the Madonna Lily (Lilium candidum).
Here's the Center for Historic Plants website full of articles about Jefferson's gardens: http://www.twinleaf.org / Twin Leaf Journal Online is maintained by The Center for Historic Plants which is also a nursery. It is supposed to sell heirloom & historic plants which Jefferson personally grew. But business being what it is, they presently sell an Asian lily which is in mass-production for any ol' nursery & which Jefferson never knew existed, while they do not offer the American turk's-cap. You will probably have to track it down from a native species specialist. I got my American turk's-caps as mere seedlings at a Rhododendron Species Foundation sale, but they weren't this year old enough to bloom.
-paghat the ratgirl
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