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Franklinia alatamaha

Franklin tree

Franklinia alatamaha is the only species in this (monotypic) genus. It is a deciduous small tree or large shrub, 3-4.5m, with dark green, glossy, simple oblong leaves, to 18cm long, turning crimson in autumn. Flowers are large, to 6cm across, cup-shaped, snowy white with a large boss of yellow stamens, in autumn. Fragrant, and can flower with the autumn leaf colour, but blooms are only produced after a long, hot summer

Synonyms
Gordonia alatamaha
Gordonia pubescens

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn White Red
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Theaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Name status

Correct

Plant range
Georgia (USA)

How to grow

Cultivation

Can be challenging to grow. Best grown in rich, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Intolerant of root disturbance once established as well as drought

Propagation

Propagate by seed as soon as ripe at 10-18C (50-64F). Root hardwood cuttings in winter or softwood cuttings in summer with bottom heat

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Requires minimal pruning, only removing wayward, crossing or rubbing shoots in winter when dormant

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Susceptible to Phytophthora root rot

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