Close-up of Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree) flower with bumblebee.
Large Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree) grown in open conditions.
Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree) in a 3-gallon pot.
Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree) with fall colors in a 7-gallon pot.

Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree) Unity Grown

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A small tree or shrub, 10-20 ft. in height, with upright, spreading branches, often leafless in their lower reaches, giving the plant an airy appearance. Beautiful, large, white flowers and an open crown of upright branches. Trunks assume a slight fluted shape. Leaves are dark, shiny-green above, pubescent below, turning orange and red in the fall. Showy, solitary, 3 in. wide, 5-petaled white flowers have a center of yellow stamens and are fragrant.

Franklinia is grown for its handsome flowers, borne in September, and its showy autumnal foliage as well as for its historical interest. It was discovered in 1765 by John Bartram and his son William, botanists from Philadelphia; it apparently even then occupied only two or three acres. In 1773 and 1778, William returned to obtain seeds and plants, but it has not been seen wild since 1790. It may have been exterminated by wholesale collecting for shipment to London nurseries or destroyed by natural causes such as flooding. Named by William Bartram for Benjamin Franklin and for the Altamaha River (then spelled Alatamaha), where it was discovered.

 (Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)
Native to U.S.
Mature Tree Height: Medium: 15 to 30 feet
Deciduous
Sun (6+ hours) and Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Medium and Well-drained
Soil Type: Rich Organic Matter
Bloom Time: Summer
Flower Color: White
Foliage Color: Green
Features: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Butterflies, Fragrant, and Fall Color
Tolerances:
Garden Type: Woodland Garden, Pollinator Garden, and Specimen Tree

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From the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:

"We launched Marylanders Plant Trees in 2009 to encourage citizens and organizations to partner with the State to plant new trees. Today, citizens can still take advantage of our coupon program to receive $25 off the purchase of a native tree at 86 participating nurseries across the State. The State cost of $20 per coupon is funded through a settlement from a major power generator for Clean Air Act violations, in partnership with the Office of the Attorney General, and Maryland’s participating tree vendors are generously absorbing the remaining $5.

Trees must be planted in the state of Maryland to qualify for $25 off coupon.
Wholesale customers do not qualify.