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Plant Details

Gordonia lasianthus

Loblolly Bay, Gordonia

Scientific Name:

Gordonia lasianthus

Genus:

Gordonia

Species Epithet:

lasianthus

Common Name:

Loblolly Bay, Gordonia

Plant Type

Tree

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Theaceae (Tea Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

12-36 ft., 36-72 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

White

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

July, August, September

Growing Area:

Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Pocosins, bayheads, acidic, organic-rich swamp forests, wet pine savannas, bay forests (Weakley 2015). Common on NC Coastal Plain.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Suitable for home landscapes

Loblolly Bay in bloom

Loblolly Bay is one of the confusing "bay trees" growing in our Coastal Plain wetlands. It is a Southeastern Coastal Plain endemic, common in pocosins, swamp forests, and wet pine savannas.

image

Paynter, Smith Creek Park, Wilmington, June 13, 2012

Flower

Blooming in summer, Loblolly Bay has a 3" fragrant flower and is sometimes mistaken for Sweetbay, a magnolia species that grows in the same wet habitats.

image

Paynter, Smith Creek Park, Wilmington, June 13, 2012

Flower bud

image

Leaf

The leaves of Loblolly Bay are shallowly toothed and smooth beneath. The similar Sweetbay has no teeth in the leaf margin and has fine hairs which make the underneath of the leaves look silvery, even at a distance.

image

Bark

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Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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