The franklinia has the unusual habit of flowering at the same time its leaves turn in the fall. This picture was taken on October 20,2002.

 The franklinia was discovered in 1773 by William Bartam, a botanist. His father, John Bartram, was a plant scientist for the King of England, and established the first botanical garden in America.

The franklinia was a native of Georgia, but is now extinct in the wild. A specimen was found in the Bartram garden about eighty years after the discoverer's death. All franklinias living today come from that collected tree.

"After my return from the Creek nation, I employed myself . . . in revisiting several districts of Georgia and the East borders of Florida, where I had noted the most curious subjects; collecting them together and shipping them off . . . [The Franklinia] is a flowering tree, of the first order of beauty and fragrance of blossoms; the tree grows fifteen or twenty feet high . . .

"This very curious tree was first taken note of about ten or twelve years ago, at this place, when I attended my father on a botanical excursion . . . We never saw it grow in any other place, nor have I seen it growing in the wild, in all my travels, from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi, which must be allowed a very singular and unaccountable circumstance; at this place there are two or three acres of ground where it grows."

From Travels with William Bartram. Macy-Masius, London. 1928.

An article about Franklinia