Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Theales Theaceae

Scientific Name: Franklinia alatamaha
Species Authority: Marshall
Common Name(s):
English Franklin Tree

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct in the Wild ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-03
Assessor(s): Rivers, M.C.
Reviewer(s): Stritch, L.
Franklinia alatamaha is Extinct in the Wild. It has not been seen in the wild since 1803 despite numerous attempts to relocate it. It is successfully grown in many botanic gardens and arboreta around the world.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Endangered (E)
1998 Extinct in the Wild (EW)
1978 Extinct (Ex)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has not been seen in the wild since 1803. It was known from one locality near Fort Barrington along the Altamaha River in Georgia (McIntosh County).
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
United States (Georgia)
Upper elevation limit (metres): 10
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is extinct in the wild. It was recorded as "plentiful" in 1773 but only over "two or three acres of ground".
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The only known population occurred in acidic sand-hill bogs on low wet soils. Flowering was from (June to) August to September (to October).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is a popular garden plant.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The exact reason for the species extirpation is not known. Burning and clearing of land during early settlement, as well as subsequent flooding may have been contributing factors. Its over-collection by nurserymen to meet horticultural demands in Europe during the late 1700s has also been suggested to be the reason for its demise.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Numerous expeditions to relocate the plant have failed. It is now a popular garden plant grown in arboreta and botanic gardens around the world. A Franklinia census was carried out by the John Bartram Association, which indicated that thousands of specimens now grow in gardens in the US and abroad. The oldest trees are thought to be found in Arnold Arboretum.

Citation: Rivers, M.C. 2015. Franklinia alatamaha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T30408A62077322. . Downloaded on 05 October 2015.
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