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Curator’s Tour: Franklinia

  • Date: August 7, 2021
  • Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
  • Location: Bartram’s Garden5400 Lindbergh Blvd. Philadelphia, 19143
  • Phone: 215-729-5281

Curator Joel Fry will lead a garden tour focusing on Franklinia, the rare native plant from Georgia, saved from extinction by the Bartram family. Several examples of Franklinia alatamaha will be in bloom in early August, and we will visit a few to see the daily blooms and the development of seed pods from last season.

John and William Bartram first encountered the Franklinia tree on October 1, 1765, after getting lost while searching for the ferry crossing the Altamaha River at Ft. Barrington in Georgia. There were no flowers present to identify the botanic identity of this very curious shrub. William Bartram returned to the same location on his southern travels 1773-1776 to see the flowers, which he illustrated for the first time. William gathered seeds and plants for his London patron, Dr. John Fothergill, and returned to Philadelphia in January 1777 with seeds, which preserved the species in the Bartram botanic garden.



$25 General Admission / $15 Members 

$2 Southwest Neighbors or ACCESS Cardholders

FREE for student with STAMP Pass


Franklinia flower with buds and leaves

Franklinia flower and buds, 8/17/2017.


illustration of Franklinia flower with buds and leaves

William Bartram illustration of Franklinia alatamaha, engraved as one of 8 extra plates for his book Travels, published in Philadelphia in 1791. (American Philosophical Society, Barton-Delafield Collection).


[header photo: Franklinia alatamaha in bloom by Joel Fry.]

General Admission (incl. Members & STAMP)

Register Here

SW Neighbors & ACCESS Cardholders

Register Here

As of July 30, 2021, Bartram’s Garden again requires that all people wear masks in all of our indoor spaces. To help limit the spread of COVID, please follow the current City of Philadelphia guidelines for visiting an outdoor public space.

All attendees will be expected to sign a COVID waiver.

This is a rain or shine event that will take place entirely outdoors. Please bring rain gear and comfortable walking shoes, as we will be traveling a few hundred yards on foot. ADA Accessible bathrooms will be available onsite. We’re happy to make accommodations for guests with mobility limitations. If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out ahead of the event.


LEARN MORE: Finding Franklinia alatamaha, by Joel Fry