The American born botanist, John Bartram discovered this unique understory tree in 1765 and named it in honor of Benjamin Franklin. This amazing tree was seen only along the bank of the Altamaha River in Georgia and today no longer exists in the wild. As the sightings of the Franklinia became more and more rare, the ones in Bartram’s home garden in Philadelphia flourished. The cupped, bright white-petaled fragrant blossom has a yolk yellow center resembling a fried egg. Nearing summer’s end, our Franklinia,tucked in along the white pine trees blooms down by our Pond, blooms profusely and is often smelled before seen. And the deep ruby red fall color is stunning. Truly, an award winning tree. Found in Zones 5 to 8.
The Aster Family is full of wonderful, prolific plants. This native perennial spreads abundantly and will self-sew easily. This divaricated or widely spreading plant is happy to thrive in sun or shade. It stands at 1 to 2 feet tall with masses of small white flowers. White woods aster can live well in fairly unkind conditions. Found from New Hampshire to Ontario and south from Ohio to Maryland and wide spread as to the mountains of Georgia, which includes all of Zones 3 to 8.
This interesting, colorful character is a favorite fern here at Jenkins. In early spring, its silver-haired shine erupts in tightly curled ‘fiddleheads’. As they continue to unfurl and mature, their white hairs turn cinnamon colored, and hummingbirds collect them to line their tiny nests. When fully mature, its fronds are large, ranging from 2 ½ to 4 feet long. The robust and swamp-loving cinnamon fern can tolerate some sun but prefers a wet woodland habitat. With fertile and sterile leaves, this ‘dimorphic’ fern has both rust-colored reproductive fronds, wispy green vegetative fronds, and outstanding bronze fall color. It is common from Zones 2 through 10.