Native from Maryland and Virginia south to Georgia and Alabama. Named for Thomas Jefferson. Pretty, cup-shaped, white flowers, an inch across, appear briefly in spring among new leaves. At bloom time, plant is no more than 8 inches high; once flowers fade, leaves develop into handsome mounds 1 feet high and about half as wide. Foliage is unusual: Each 5- to 6 inches-wide leaf looks like a shield split into two parts. Leaves emerge purplish gray, then mature to light green.
Grow in rich, preferably limy soil amended with organic matter. Lovely in a woodland garden with ferns, primroses (Primula), trilliums, and bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). Cover dormant plants with a humus-rich mulch. Keep soil evenly moist; watch out for slugs and snails. Buy nursery propagated plants. Do not transplant from wild.