I ordered from a mail order catalog one January while looking out the window at a snow covered yard. Franklinia Alatamaha, no variety given, is how it was marketed. My $29.95 bought a ten inch stick with roots. Although I expected it to become a small tree it has only reached six feet in ten years. The Ben Franklin tree had eight blossoms last fall followed by beautiful red foliage. It has not been bothered by insects or disease nor required winter protection in Illinois. I couldn't be happier. If, however, you are looking for a small tree, you might prefer a parrotica persica.
It appears that 'Ben's Best' is a name that ktdid2840 created for this particular individual.
The question should have been asked by the PlantFiles admins: is this name registered or published anywhere, and is there a purpose or defining characteristic that gives this plant merit as its own named selection? If not, then one could as easily call it Charley™.
Franklinia alatamaha is easily propagated from cuttings. It is likely that the mailorder company used this propagation method, or got this plant from a nursery that roots cuttings. That means that there are likely many identical plants growing elsewhere, and ascribing a unique name to this one would usually be considered invalid.
If this were a seed-grown plant with unique characteristics that merited definition, or a mutation from a standard plant that was then propagated, then by all means name it, patent or copyright it, and collect the royalties in due course as the horticultural world stampedes to be first in line to have one.
Somewhere out there is an effort to catalog all the Franklinia alatamaha plants in cultivation. It may be under the auspices of Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia - my memory of where I read about that fails me at the moment. ktdid2840 ought to make sure they know about this specimen.
Kt, is it possible you clicked on the wrong entry when you uploaded your pic? Go to Plantfiles and search 'franklinia' in the genus field. You will get two entries for Franklinia. The species and the variety 'Ben's Best'. Evidently it's valid because Rarefind carries it.
You can also click on the link in the first post which takes you to the "Ben's Best' cultivar and then click on the Genus word 'Franklinia' and you can see both entries.
If you click on your image in the PlantFile page to enlarge it and then click on the 'Report An Error' button on the top, you can request to have admin move your image over to the correct entry.
Sure is a pretty tree and the blooms are especially lovely!
So upset...I have a beautiful Franklinia. It lost 2 huge branches in Superstorm Sandy, and now two more in the Blizzard. It has little left. Is there any way to encourage new growth/branches on existing trunk or branches? I refuse to give up on it!
Sorry to hear about your Franklinia plight. I have a twelve year old Franklin Tree that has suffered through two ice storms (2003 and 2009), but has soldiered on. Keep hope.
This is not a good location for you to have posted this question. This web page is for comments about specific (previously posted) pictures - in this case the one from ktdid2840 in Illinois. The only people that will ever see this will be people looking for a picture of Franklinia, not necessarily one of the millions of users of Daves Garden that might offer you specific help for your predicament.
I recommend that you post your question at one of the other forums full of helpful people here at DG: