Bloom Day October 2013 – Franklinia alatamaha

I’m barely making it for Bloom Day, but just had to post about this tree.  There’s so much going on with fall color right now and dry sunny weather makes for maximum enjoyment.  This tree is starting to join in on the fall color party too but because there isn’t much going on in the way of tree blooms now, that’s what I really appreciate at this moment.


It’s very generous of the gardeners at this residence near NE Prescott and NE 27th Avenue to plant this in their front yard for community enjoyment of this rather uncommon Franklinia alatamaha.  It’s really  much more beautiful than my hasty photos show.

I couldn’t get a very good bloom close-up without trespassing.



This species is in the tea family (Theaceae) along with Camellia and Stewartia for which the flowers could easily be confused.  A North American native found in Georgia, this tree no longer exists in the wild and grows only in cultivation. Read more on the interesting history of this tree here.

Here is information I found on the OSU Landscape website.

  • Deciduous tree to 30 feet tall at maturity (usually smaller) with an open, spreading habit
  • White blooms from July to fall (but blooms poorly in wet autumns of Pacific Northwest)
  • Sun to part shade with moist, rich, well-drained acidic soil (can be difficult to establish)
  • Hardy to zone 5
  • Red fall color

For more peaks at fall blooms, make sure to drop in on Carol, our Bloom Day host at

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3 Responses to Bloom Day October 2013 – Franklinia alatamaha

  1. Julie Fukuda says:

    Do you have Kinmokusei? (sweet olive) We have had a great run on those flowers for the past few weeks. The typhoon may have ended that but this has been a boon year.

  2. Ricki Grady says:

    I can vouch for the “difficult to establish” part, but such a lovely tree.

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