Other Common Names: Fried egg tree, poached egg tree
Synonyms: Polyspora axillaris
This relative of the Camellia has, like so many plants, been the subject of taxonomic revision. Consequently, there is some confusion about names. Previously known as Gordonia anomala, it became Gordonia axillaris. Recently, it has been reclassified as Polyspora axillaris by some authorities. You may also see it called Franklinia axillaris in a few places.
However, it will probably still be known in horticultural circles as Gordonia axillaris for some time to come.
The white, yellow-centered flowers have given rise to rather inelegant common names like "fried egg tree" or "poached egg tree'. A distictive charactieristic is their tendancy to drop from the tree, forming a white and yellow carpet below the bush.
Another Gordonia in the marketplace in Australia is G. yunnanensis, which may also be seen called Gordonia axillaris 'Yunnanensis' or Polyspora yunnanensis by nurserypersons (and is presumably the Sinopyrenaria yunnanensis referred to by Chih-Hua Tsou and Pyrenaria diospyricarpa by Min Tianlu and Bartholomew)
Two related plants that you will find many references to are the North American species Gordonia lasianthus (retained in Gordonia under the new classification) and Franklinia alatamaha.
Like camellias, gordonia prefer acid soil conditions so use appropriate soil mixes and fertilisers.
More information to come in future updates. Meanwhile, check out the following links: