One of rarest flowers in world blooms in UK for 1st time in 200 years

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London, Sep 8 (ANI): A flower, which is now extinct in the wild, has been successfully grown in a part of Britain where it disappeared 200 years ago.

The Franklinia alatamaha - known as the Franklin tree - has large fragrant, cup-shaped, snow-white blooms and is part of the tea family.

The plant is now only found in a handful of places on the planet but has now been cultivated at the Trewithen Estate nursery near Truro, Cornwall.

It was first discovered in 1765 by Philadelphia botanists John and William Bartram who named it after close friend Benjamin Franklin.

The staff said three shrubs have now flowered and they expect another ten to flower next year.

"It is such a rare shrub and extinct in the wild. To see it flower in this country is of great interest to plant lovers," the Telegraph quoted

Luke Hazelton, nursery manager as saying.

"I've talked to plant experts at the Royal Botanical Garden, Kew, and they're surprised and excited as we are, especially as it's flowering earlier than expected," he added.

The tree, which can withstand freezing temperatures but prefers warm weather, can grow up to 10m tall but more commonly reaches between 4.5m and 7.5m.

A spokesman for the Royal Botanical Gardens said the plant is very difficult to grow and is "extremely rare" in Britain.

He said: "The plant is very delicate and usually only stands a chance if it is kept in a greenhouse.

"However in Cornwall, the environment would make it possible to grow outside.

"These plants are very rare especially in Britain so it is great news to hear that a nursery has been able to make it flower and seed." (ANI)

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