Brent Martin of the Blue Ridge Bartram Trail Conservancy and co-owner of Alarka Expeditions will present The History of Franklinia Alatamaha or Franklin tree, so named after Benjamin Franklin. This event will be held at Winding Stair Nursery in Franklin, NC on Sunday, May 21st. The event starts at 2pm and is free to the public.
William Bartram collected the species in the 1770s and propagated it at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia. The rare species was extinct in the wild by the early 1800s due to cotton farming and the subsequent introduction of the waterborne disease, phytophthora. The species will no longer grow in its natural habitat but does very well here in southern Appalachia.
Martin will talk about his own success in propagating Franklinia, and there will be specimens available for purchase at the nursery. He will also discuss the other two rare members of the Theaceae family in North America, Stewartia ovata (our native Mountain Camellia) and Stewartia malacodendron (Silky Camellia, found on the coastal plain) and how to also grow them in our southern mountains.
Attendance is free, but please head over to the Winding Stair Farm and Nursery website to register to help with planning for this event: http://windingstairfarm.com/nursery/events/franklintree/