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Franklin Tree

Franklinia altamaha

Franklin Tree (Franklinia altamaha) Autumn foliage

In 1765, John Bartram was appointed Royal Botanist for North America by King George III. Later that same year,Bartram and his son discovered Franklin Tree along the banks of the Altamaha River in Georgia. In 1773, Bartram returned and collected seed from this site and brought it back to his garden in Philadelphia where it was successfully grown. Franklin Tree has never been found in any other location than the banks of the Altamaha River and has been extinct in the wild since 1803. Fortunately for gardeners, the tree has survived in the landscape, each one derived from the seeds collected by Bartram.

Franklin Tree is a beautiful shrub/small tree noted for its beautiful flower and brilliant fall color. The history of this plant makes it a great conversation piece. It is also a rare plant with delicate beauty and should be given a prominent place in the garden. It has the reputation of being somewhat finicky so give it moist well drained soil high in organic matter and part shade. 10-20' high and 10-15' wide.

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