Rare Franklinia trees in full bloom in Brookeville, Md.

A flower on the Franklinia tree located in the Triadelphia Recreation Area, 2800 Triadelphia Lake Road, Brookeville, Md. (Courtesy Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission)

WASHINGTON – Botanists have identified rare Franklinia trees blooming on the picnic grounds at Triadelphia Recreation Area in Brookeville, Md. Three other of these uncommon trees have also been identified in the park.

Franklinia, also known as Franklin, trees are recognized as the largest specimen of its kind in Maryland.

The Franklinia near the picnic grounds is 26 inches in circumference, and 32-feet tall. By comparison, the current national champion located in Pennsylvania is one inch taller, and 16 inches wider in circumference.

These rare trees were discovered along Georgia’s Altamaha River in 1765 by botanists John and William Bartram and named for their family’s friend, Benjamin Franklin, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

Birds that tend to perch in this type of tree include cardinals, Carolina wrens, robins and mockingbirds.

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