This mind-boggling interspecies cross is from the hardworking efforts of Dr. Tom Ranney of NCSU's Mountain Research Station. He successfully crossed Franklinia and Gordonia lasianthus (Loblolly Bay), something that has been attempted unsuccessfully many time. The result is a larger, showier late summer flower that looks like a super Franklinia, on a small tree with lustrous semi-evergreen foliage. xGordlinia grandiflora is much more tolerant of varying sites than our native Franklinia. The fall color is lovely shades of red and bronze. Our experience at our nursery is that this early cross from Dr. Ranney is somewhat more cold tolerant than other crosses.