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xGordlinia grandiflora 'Sweet Tea'

Description

As if xGordlinia grandiflora (a rare intergeneric hybrid between Franklinia and Gordonia) wasn’t unusual enough, ‘Sweet Tea’ is a polyploidy form with extra sets of chromosomes.  Why ‘Sweet Tea’? Well, it’s a member of the tea family, the flowers have a light sweet fragrance, and it comes from the South where sweet tea runs in our veins. Okay, it’s not the toughest tree on the planet, so give it a good site with well-drained, even moisture. More resistant to Phytophthora than Franklina (Meyer et al., 2009), but it’s still a bit finicky. Best in full sun or a little afternoon shade as long as it’s not too dry. It deserves a prominent location in the landscape as a specimen planting.  Roots readily from stem cuttings, then takes off growing. Mature height is estimated to be 20-30 feet.  Not patented or trademarked.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Wilt and root rot.  Can be a challenging tree to grow.

 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#showy#flowering tree#late summer#mci#large flower
Cultivars:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#showy#flowering tree#late summer#mci#large flower
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gordlinia
    Species:
    grandiflora
    Family:
    Theaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 9 ft. 3 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    5" wide white showy flowers with 5 petals and yellow centers of stamens that resemble fried eggs or camelia blooms. Late summer blooms July-September are valued.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow 4"-8" long elliptical to lanceolate with serrulate margins dark green above and pale green below. Semi-evergreen but will have some red-yellow fall color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies