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NC State Extension

‘Sweet Tea’ Mountain Gordlinia

(xGordlinia grandiflora ‘Sweet Tea’)

'Sweet Tea' Mountain Gorlinia

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. The result – huge (5 inch diameter), showy flowers that look like big fried eggs. Semi-evergreen foliage with large, single, camellia-like flowers from July through September. 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. Roots readily from stem cuttings, then takes off growing. Mature height is estimated to be 20-30 feet. Zone 7-10. Not patented or trademarked.