During the 17th and 18th centuries, extensive exploration led to a passion for obtaining exotic plants. Naturalists and explorers alike noted the bounty of new species found in Virginia. Specimens transplanted to England were highlighted in large formal gardens that had become quite fashionable.
This striking flower is taken from a design by Georg Dionysius Ehret, engraved by T. Jeffreys and published in Figures of the Most Beautiful, Useful and Uncommon Plants Described in the Gardener's Dictionary (1771). A copy resides in the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation collection.
Find out more about Colonial Williamsburg here.