Plant Guide > Trees > Gordonias > Loblolly Bay Tree

Loblolly Bay Tree

Loblolly Bay TreeThe Loblolly Bay (Gordonia Lasianthus, Ell.) grows to be a tree of 70 feet in height, with slender, straight trunk and narrow, compact head, in swampy land from tidewater Virginia along the coast to the delta of the Mississippi.

It is most frequent in eastern Florida and Georgia. Its leaves are evergreen, leathery and shining, lanceolate in form and serrate on the margins. Its flowers are perfect, with fleshy white petals spreading out like great wild roses often two to three inches across.

They begin to bloom in July and continue several weeks. A dry, woody, ovoid capsule succeeds the flower. In it are 2 to 8 square, winged seeds.

The tree thrives in cultivation, though at best it is short lived. A handsome specimen blossoms freely in the Arnold Arboretum at Boston.