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Fabulous Franklinia In The Fall

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There are few enough trees that flower in late summer, so when a tree is still blooming this far into fall, it’s worth mentioning. My little Franklinia tree has been blooming since early August -it must have loved the rain this year because it’s never looked better or bloomed longer.

Not only is it still flowering, but it’s blooming while its leaves are turning! So, I have bright white flowers with sunny-side-up yellow centers set against foliage that’s deepening to scarlet. It’s a sight I never expected to see – and just another reason to plant this lovely little tree.

It’s known to be native to the southeastern US, but it certainly gives our native bees plenty of pollen to feed on here too.

You can look for a Franklinia at nurseries, plant sales or native plant specialists. Philadelphia’s Bartram family were the last to see the tree in the wild back in the the 1770′s and they nurtured the seeds so we can still enjoy this tree today.

Visit BartramsGarden.org to learn more about the unique little Franklinia tree.