One of my favorites and I'm on my third tree - hopefully a lucky number. A notoriously fickle tree with a fabulous story. It was discovered in 1765 along the banks of the Altamaha River in Georgia by John and William Bartram and named in honor of their dear friend Benjamin Franklin. When they returned to the same spot years later it was extinct and all Franklinias today are descended from those propagated by the Bartrams in their Philadelphia garden. A deciduous, understory tree with an upright habit that can be grown as a single-trunked tree or a multi-stemmed shrub, with dark green glossy leaves that turn orange, red and purple in the fall. It blooms in late summer and early autumn when few other trees are in flower, gorgeous fragrant camellia-like white flowers with yellow stamens followed by woody spherical fruit. It needs organically rich, moist but very well-drained soil of acidic to neutral pH, in full sun and resents transplanting.
Leave a Reply.