×Schimlinia floribunda (Theaceae): A New Intergeneric Hybrid between Franklinia alatamaha and Schima argentea

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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, North Carolina State University, 455 Research Drive, Fletcher, NC 28732-9244
  • | 2 Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
  • | 3 Department of Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280

Franklinia alatamaha Bartr. ex Marshall represents a monotypic genus that was originally discovered in Georgia, but is now considered extinct in the wild and is maintained only in cultivation. Although Franklinia is very ornamental, with showy flowers and crimson/maroon fall foliage color, it tends to be short lived when grown as a landscape tree and is known to be susceptible to a variety of root pathogens. Schima argentea Pritz is an evergreen tree that is native to Asia and is valued for its glossy foliage, late-summer flowers, and broad adaptability in mild climates. Hybridization between these genera could potentially combine the cold hardiness and desirable ornamental characteristics of F. alatamaha with the greater adaptability, utility, and genetic diversity of S. argentea. Controlled crosses between F. alatamaha and S. argentea resulted in new intergeneric hybrid progeny. A morphological comparison of parents and the progeny is presented. ×Schimlinia floribunda Ranney and Fantz (mountain schimlinia) is proposed as the name for these hybrids and is validated with a Latin diagnosis.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author. E-mail address: tom_ranney@ncsu.edu.
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