I live in the mountains of South Carolina where i've found a small tree( about 4 ft. high, and 3/4 in. in diameter). It looks exactly like a Franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha) However, it is considered extinct and was only found in southeastern Georiga near the coast, a very different habitat from here. Does anyone know about this small tree/shurb belonging to the tea family?

Princeton, NJ(Zone 6a)

Your right, Franklinia hasn't been found in the wild for about 200 years. Perhaps what you saw was native gordonia or stewartia which are related.

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