Small, hardy, deciduous North American tree
Description: Pure white flowers with prominent yellow stamens bloom in late summer; leaves turn deep red in the fall
Habit: Reaches 10 to 20 feet high and 8 to 15 feet wide
Culture: Prefers full sun to part shade and lots of moisture
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5
Origin: North America
Attributes: Fall color
This is the famous tree that was discovered along the banks of the Altamaha River by John Bartram in 1760, collected by his son William Bartram fifteen years later, and which has not been reported in the wild since 1804. All trees now in cultivation stem from the Bartram collection. Bartram named it for "that Patron of the sciences and truly great and distinguished character, Dr. Benjamin Franklin." This plant thrives in moist soils high in organic matter -- peat moss, compost, etc. -- and makes an impressive specimen tree for any garden.