Franklinia alatamaha – Franklin Tree


A truly unique small tree with a fascinating history. First discovered over 250 years ago by legendary plant explorer John Bartram in Georgia near the banks of the Altamaha River and named for Bartram’s great friend Benjamin Franklin. Bartram’s son William returned to collect seeds from the trees a few years after their discovery. Seedlings planted at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia thrived. All Franklin Trees in existence now are descended from those few seedlings because the species was never again seen in the wild in Georgia nor anywhere else in the Southeast. Franklin Tree is a member of the Tea Family with showy flowers that are similar to other members of the family such as Camellia. Requires a moist but well-drained soil. Great fall foliage color. Can be a bit difficult to get established and best in our valleys – it’s quite a dicey choice at higher elevations.

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Tea family, Theaceae

Updated 24 February 2023

Additional information

Pot Size

2-Gallon, 3-Gallon, 7-Gallon