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.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
3. Species management -> 3.3. Species re-introduction -> 3.3.1. Reintroduction
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.2. Genome resource bank

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.2. Gathering terrestrial plants -> 5.2.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Very Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score: Past Impact 

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return    

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.3. Other ecosystem modifications
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return    

2. Conservation Planning -> 2.1. Species Action/Recovery Plan

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. Available at: (Accessed: 23 June 2015).

NatureServe. 2014. Franklinia alatamaha. Arlington, Virginia Available at: . (Accessed: July).

Prince, L.M. 2009. Theaceae. Flora North America, vol. 8, pp. 322-328. Oxford University Press, New York.

The Historic Bartram's Garden. 2015. The Franklinia Census - results, revelations and reveries. Available at: (Accessed: February 2015).

Citation: Rivers, M.C. 2015. Franklinia alatamaha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T30408A62077322. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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