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Zone
Zones 3B, 4-6, 14-17, 28-35
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Franklinia alatamaha

Franklinia
Theaceae
Deciduous, Trees

Though once native to Georgia, this tree has apparently been extinct in the wild since before 1800. Open, airy form; may grow 30 ft. tall but more typically reaches 10 to 20 ft. high. When grown with single trunk, tends to be fairly slender; grown with multiple trunks, spreads wider than high. Attractive gray bark has faint white vertical striping. Glossy green 4- to 6-in.-long leaves turn orange and red in fall. In late summer, round white buds open to fragrant white blossoms resembling single camellias: 3 in. wide, five petaled, with central clusters of yellow stamens. Bloom may coincide with fall foliage color. Small, woody capsules follow the flowers. Tree blooms shyly during wet autumns in Northwest.

Provide well-drained, rich, light, acid soil. Easy to grow from seed, flowering in 6 or 7 years. Makes an unusual lawn or patio tree; good for contrast in azalea and rhododendron plantings.

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