Franklin Tree (Franklinia alatamaha)

Common names:
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Botanical names:
Franklinia alatamaha Accepted
Gordonia pubescens Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5b -26.1 °C (-15 °F) to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 20 to 25 feet
Plant Spread: 10 to 15 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Fruit: Other: brown woody capsule
Fruiting Time: Fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Fall
Late fall or early winter
Uses: Flowering Tree
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: if starting indoors
Other info: seeds do not store well. Sow as soon as possible.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Miscellaneous: Monoecious
Conservation status: Extinct in the Wild (EW)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Extinct in the Wild
So glad this rare tree is happy on my windy, drought-prone hillto

Photo gallery:
Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania 17565Date: 2017-08-06So glad this rare tree is happy on my windy, drought-prone hillto
By csandt
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Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania, USADate: 2018-08-10With tiny pollinator.
By csandt
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Location: 382 River Road, Pequea, PA 17565Date: August 5, 2015This reputedly fussy tree grows well in dappled shade in my mid-A
By csandt
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Location: Longwood Gardens in southeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-10-03full-grown tree with touch of fall color
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-11-03maturing tree in red fall color
By ILPARW
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Location: my backyard north of Atlanta GADate: 2012-08-12I planted this tree in fall 2009, in mostly red GA clay, amended
By fiwit
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Image
By NJBob
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Date: 2016-10-26
By Rebekah
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Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania 17565Date: 2017-08-06
By csandt
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Location: Ridley Creek State Park in southeast PADate: 2018-06-05bottom half of mature tree showing trunk and branches
By ILPARW
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Location: Ridley Creek State Park in southeast PADate: 2018-06-05the crown of a mature tree at the Hunting Hill Mansion
By ILPARW
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Location: Northwest N.J.Date: 2011-10-28Fall Color
By NJBob
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Location: my back yard just north of Atlanta, GA.  Red GA clay with some soil amendments to help drainage.  Benign neglect since being planted.Date: 2013-06-03This tree was planted in fall 2009 - the honeycomb butterfly bush
By fiwit
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Location: 382 River Road, Pequea, PA 17565Date: August 5, 2015Happy in dappled shade in my mid-Atlantic garden; has survived tw
By csandt
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Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PA near MediaDate: 2011-08-24tree in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PA near MediaDate: 2010-10-28tree mostly of fall color
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-08-07tree in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-12-13trunk and branches in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-08-07single white flower with bee
By ILPARW
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Location: Longwood Gardens in southeast PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-10-03tree with touch of fall color
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-10-26autumn foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-10-26red autumn color of tree
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-11-03foliage in red fall color
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-11-03top of tree in red fall color
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-11-03trunk base
By ILPARW
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Location: Northwest N.J.Date: 2011-10-10
By NJBob
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Location: my backyard, north of Atlanta GADate: 2012-04-8Spring leaves
By fiwit
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Location: in my backyard north of Atlanta GADate: 2013-06-03This tree was planted in fall 2009
By fiwit
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Image
By NJBob
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Location: Bartram's Garden, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-07-15John Bartram's 1731 house is in the background.
By csandt
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-09-29tree with touch of fall color
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2007-12-18old trunks
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-01-09old tree in yard
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2007-12-18brown capsules in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-08-23young tree in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-11-18young tree in fall color in part shade
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 28, 2018 6:54 PM

William Bartrum found some trees growing along the Alatamaha River in southeast Georgia in 1770 and brought some back to his estate in Philadelphia, PA. No other wild plants of this species has been seen wild since 1790. This small tree can still be bought from the old Bartrum estate as young trees in containers. It is sold by some larger, diverse nurseries as a high quality and expensive plant. It is not commonly planted anywhere. I've found some planted at estates, arboretums, and professional landscapes in southeast Pennsylvania. One source says it only grows about 8 inches/year, but I have seen a young planted specimen grow about 1.5 feet/year at least for its youth and another source does say it grows at a medium rate and it should live over 100 years. It has beautiful foliage that turns a good orange to red in fall. It bears large, solitary, white flowers with 5 petals and that have a sweet, spicy fragrance, and lots of yellow stamen in the middle. It is a member of the Tea Family. It has smooth gray bark that eventually becomes slightly scaly, and the trunks are sort of fluted like a Musclewood tree (American Hornbeam). It has an interesting branching habit sort of like a Pagoda Dogwood. It has a deep, sparsely fibrous root system so it is somewhat difficult to transplant, best in spring. It needs a moist, acid, good quality sandy loam to silt-clay soil. It makes a wonderful specimen plant.

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Posted by fiwit (My little patch of paradise - Zone 7b) on Jan 10, 2012 9:11 AM

I have one of these growing in my yard just north of Atlanta, GA. I planted it in fall 2009, and I had my first bloom in late summer 2011. It's planted in full sun, clay soil (amended at planting time) and seems to be doing well, even though my nursery recommends dappled sun for our southern climes.

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Plant Events from our members
carpathiangirl On August 27, 2018 Obtained plant
2 in. pot
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Discussion Threads about this plant
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