Trees, 5-7 m. Stems 1(-5); bark thin, smooth. Leaves deciduous; petiole indistinct from blade, usually winged, wings 1 mm wide; blade obovate to obtrullate, chartaceous, base long-tapering, margins serrate usually to below middle, apex acute, veins conspicuous, 10-12 pairs, midrib elevated abaxially , depressed slightly adaxially. Inflorescence bracts deciduous, 2, inserted immediately proximal to sepals. Pedicels terete, 0.2-1.5(-4) cm. Flowers 7-10 cm diam.; sepals deciduous, connate proximally, concave, thickened proximally, margins ciliate, apex rounded, sericeous; petals 5, connate proximally, creamy white, unequal, base constricted, margins crenulate, outermost petal incurved, abaxial surface densely hairy; stamens 75-150, distinct or connate 1-2 mm proximally; pistil 5-carpellate; ovules 6-8(-12) per locule; styles 1; stigmas 5-lobed. Capsules brown, subglobose, base rounded, apex round, dehiscence loculicidal from apex and septicidal from base; columella persistent, adnate to valves at middle. Seeds 6-8(-12) per locule, brown, reniform, asymmetric, rough, apical wing relatively narrow or absent. x = 18. Franklinia has been included in Gordonia by some authors (I. Luna and J. L. Villaseñor 1996; Luna and H. Ochoterena 2004); the fruits and seeds are distinctive enough to warrant generic recognition.