|A rare Franklinia (tree in foreground) stands in a garden amidst coneflowers, bee balm, day lillies, lavender and more. It's a true statesman in this perennial garden bed. A red maple (Acer rubrum) anchors the other end of the border and shines bright crimson in the fall, so as not to be totally outdone by the more diminutive yet regal Franklin Tree. By the way, how do you like my china teacup flower, made by my very talented friend, Rick Wiedner? As an artist and blacksmith, he certainly has an green-iron thumb!|
High heat, hefty humidity and soaking raindrops, that come out of nowhere and then disappear just as swiftly, cannot keep a good tree from blooming its little heart out in these dog days of summer. Have you ever heard of a Franklinia Tree (Franklinia alatamaha)? Named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, the Franklinia, or Franklin Tree, was discovered way back in the middle 1700's in the state we know as Georgia, along the Alatamaha River by botinists of the time, John Bartram and his son William. This heirloom and rare ornamental has been considered extinct in the wild since the middle 1800's and can only be found/cultivated by nurseries. In fact, it is believed that all of the Franklin trees grown today came from the few specimens the Bartram's brought back from the Georgia territory and then propagated and grew in their own Philadelphia garden.
|Blossoms appear like fireflies in the duskiness of a hot summer evening.|
|Butterflies visit this tree all day long.|
|Marble-sized and pearl white, the buds will unfurl new, long-blooming flowers each day for about a month.|
|What did I tell you? The butterflies love the Franklin Tree!|