Franklinia alatamaha - Franklinia
This small specimen tree is valued for its showy, white, late summer flowers and striking yellow to orange to red fall color. Native but extinct in the wild, it was saved from extinction in colonial times and is a ravishingly unique tree for the home landscape. Perfect for partial shade.
- Fragrant white flowers smell like honeysuckle
- Striking fall foliage color
- Historically significant and rare
- Saved from extinction in colonial times
- Perfect for bird nesting and cover
- A great choice for smaller landscape spaces
Moist, well-drained soils in the wooded foothills of Georgia
Map Credit: The Biota of North America
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)
INTERESTING FACTSFranklinia is also called Franklin Tree, a name given to it by John Bartram who was the Royal Botanist for North America under King George III in 1765. Bartram and his son saved the plant from extinction, and named it in honor of their friend Benjamin Franklin. The species name alatamaha is an old spelling for the river on which the plant was discovered.
Best grown in moist, well-drained soils rich in organic matter. Good drainage is a must. Plant in full sun in more northerly climates but will appreciate some afternoon shade in warmer zones. May not be reliably winter hardy in the northern parts of USDA Zone 5 where it should be planted in a protected location.