David Dethero and Historic Flat Rock, Inc. dedicate a Franklinia Tree at The Preserve and Bird Sanctuary Historic Flat Rock, Inc. on April 30, 2021
The Bartram Family and the Franklinia Tree
Georgia was a British colony when in 1765 John and William Bartram observed a tree growing along the altamaha river. William returned to the area 8 years later and began his collection of seeds from this tree. He continued to collect seeds for 3 more years and then brought the seeds back to Philadelphia. William’s father died that year, 1777, and 4 years later William was able to achieve flowering trees. William named this genus Franklinia after Benjamin Franklin- a dear friend of John Bartram.
John Bartram and Benjamin Franklin wrote to each other – and most certainly Benjamin Franklin was one of the first of the revolutionaries to focus on plants when the nation was in a struggling time – plants were and continue to be the great peace makers.
Benjamin Franklin said there were 3 ways by which a nation can acquire wealth: the first is by war… this is robbery. The second by commerce which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture… the only honest way. This way of thinking gave us a country that was self-sufficient, led by farmers who discovered that the land gave them purpose, independence and a sense of fulfillment.
What does this tell us about Wes Burlingame?
Patience: the seed capsules take 12-14 months to mature. Then there is a reputation of it being difficult to cultivate. Wes knew that when things take time… the waiting is as much a delight as the end result.
Appreciation of beauty: when the pentavalved spherical capsules split above and below when they are ripe. This occurrence is one of natures most spectacular visions.
To think about a Franklinia is to think about a fragrance memory – an almost orange blossom or honeysuckle smell – a delicate fragrance that does not overpower the senses.
– Victoria Flanagan
It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives
Nourish it then
That it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.