Franklinia alatamaha

Franklinia alatamaha, the Franklin tree, is native to Southeastern U.S., but has a special connection to Philadelphia. John and William Bartram discovered Franklinia alatamaha growing along the banks of the Altamaha River in Georgia and in 1773, William Bartram collected seed from this site and brought it back to the Bartram's garden in Philadelphia where the tree was successfully grown. This tree has been extinct in the wild since 1803 and grows only in cultivation.

This small summer flowering tree is worth considering if you are looking for a unique specimen plant for your garden. It maxes out at around 20’ tall and is happiest in well-drained, organically rich soil in full sun to part shade. The flowers are Camellia- like and resemble an egg with the yellow center.