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Sweet Tea Mountain Gordlinia

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Sweet Tea Gordlinia
x Gordlinia grandiflora 'Sweet Tea'

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 7a-9b   Find Your Zone

Special Attributes

'Sweet Tea' Gordlinia is new intergeneric cross that produces abundant, huge (5 inch diameter), showy flowers with 5 petals surrounding a showy boss of yellow center stamens that make them look like big fried egg. Flowers occur over a long period from July through September. and are backed up by handsome, elongated leaves 4 to 8 inches in length. The leaves are semi-evergreen though some will turn colorful shades of red and orange in fall, adding to the overall appeal of this spectacular fast-growing shrub or small tree, which all grown up might be 25 to 30 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. Easy to grow but make sure and check out the helpful tips under the Planting & Care tab on this page. 

x Gordlinia grandiflora is an intergeneric hybrid resulting from a controlled cross made in August of 2002 by Ranney and Fantz of the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University between Franklinia alatamaha (deciduous female parent commonly called Franklin tree) and Gordonia lasianthus (evergreen male parent commonly called loblolly bay). Nine hybrids were propagated in December of 2003 from seeds produced by this intergeneric cross and 'Sweet Tea' is the most fragrant one.

Landscape & Garden Uses

Growing upright to 20 to 30 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide, 'Sweet Tea' Gordlinia can be grown as large multi-stem shrub or lower branches can be removed to form an attractive small tree.  has many uses in the landscape.  A fine addition to woodland borders, fragrance, wildlife, cut flower, and cottage gardens where the soil is well-drained but stays consistently moist but it well-drained. Does not like constantly soggy soil. 

Spacing:  6-7' for privacy screen;  14 feet or more for space between plants

Cultural Preferences

Gordlinia grows best in an acidic, moist but well-drained soil rich in organic matter and in full sun to part shade. As mentioned, it needs a well-drained soil but doesn't like the soil to dry our for too long. Avoid planting in poorly drained soils that stay constantly soggy. In zone 7 it will grow well in full sun or part shade. In zones 8 and 9 it would prefer some shade or filtered sun during during the mid-afternoon. We suggest 4 hours or more of direct sunlight for best performance.

Helpful Articles

Click on a link Planting & Care tab above on desktop computers or below on mobile devices.

Plant Details

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 7a-9b   Find Your Zone
Plant Type:  Semi-Evergreen Flowering Shrub or Tree
Height at Maturity:  20-30'
Width at Maturity: 8-10'
Spacing:  6-7' for solid hedge;  14'+ for space between plants
Growth Habit / Form:  Upright multi or single stem large shrub or small tree
Flower Color:  White with Yellow center stamens
Flower Size:  Large, 5" diameter
Flowering Period:  July through September
Flower Type:  Single
Fragrant Flowers:  Yes
Foliage Color:  Dark Green, some leaves will turn Red and Orange in fall!
Fragrant Foliage:  No
Attracts:  Visual Attention
Resistances:  Deer, Disease, Drought, Heat, Humidity, Insect
Sun Needs:  Full Sun or Part Shade (Zone 7), Morning Sun with Afternoon Shade or Filtered Sun (Zones 8-9)
Water Needs:  Average
Soil Type:  Clay (amended), Loam, Sand (amended), Silt 
Soil Moisture / Drainage:  Consistently Moist But Well Drained - Does not like dry or constantly soggy soil!
Soil pH:  5.0 - 6.0 (Acid)
Maintenance / Care:  Low to Average, provide supplemental water during summer dry periods

Plant Long & Prosper!

Questions?  Contact Us

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