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 seeds from this site, bringing them back to his garden in Philadelphia and successfully growing specimens. Franklin Tree has never been found in any other location in the world beside 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 you see descending from the seeds collected by Bartram. Franklin Tree is actually in the tea family.
If you're looking for a tree with unique features, Franklin Tree is hard to beat. Franklin Tree flowers in September and blooms for four weeks. It is the only tree that I know of that simultaneously produces fall color and blossoms!
Franklin Tree is a beautiful shrub/small tree noted for its lovely flowers and brilliant fall color. The history of this plant makes it a great conversation piece! As a rare plant of delicate beauty, Franklin Tree should be given a prominent place in the garden. Being somewhat finicky, it should be planted in moist, well-drained soil, high in organic matter and partly shaded. Franklin Tree grows 10'-20' high and 10'-15' wide.
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