Login     Register (Free!)   

Click for Floridata  Home

Welcome (homepage)

Member Pages
Register (free!)
Login

FloriDazL Image Sharing Service

Plant Encyclopedia
Plant List
Datagrid (beta)

More Floridata
Briarpatch Blog
Resources/Articles
Write Us
About Floridata
Privacy Policy

Community
Forums


A Floridata Plant Profile #80 Persea borbonia
Common Names: red bay
Family: Lauraceae (laurel Family)
Wallpaper Gallery (0 images for this plant)

tree  Drought Tolerant Tolerant of Shade and Low Light Conditions Edible Plant Has evergreen foliage Fragrant
red bay foliage
Red bay foliage is glossy and fragrant but is often disfigured by pests and disease.
red bay fruit
The shiny blue fruits (drupe) are up to 1/2 in (1.2 cm) in diameter - once mature, the fruits shrink and turn black.

Description
This graceful evergreen tree attains heights to 65 ft (20 m) and can reach 3 ft (1 m) in diameter under optimal growing conditions. It develops a dense, pyramidal crown with gently drooping branches. The bright green, aromatic leaves are simple and oblong or lance shaped and 4 - 6 in (10-15 cm) long. Somewhat glossy with grayish undersides the leaves are pleasantly aromatic when crushed. The fruit is a small bright blue to shiny black drupe. The red bay has slender twigs and reddish-brown scaly bark.

Location
Persea borbonia, the red bay, is found in hammocks, sandy hills and scrub areas.

Culture
Light: Light shade.
Moisture: Average to dry. Red bay is drought tolerant when established.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9.
Propagation: Seeds.

red bay
The red bay is often seen as small understory tree - this slow-growing individual in the dry sandy soil of Jack's back yard has added only a couple of feet in height over a 15 years period.

Usage
This tree is best suited to planting in combination with other woodland trees and shrubs in groves or as a specimen. Red bay is perfect in naturalistic plantings and provides food and cover for birds and wildlife. The evergreen red bay leaves are often disfigured by galls and/or pest and so are best used in the background where only the handsome rich green color is seen. in The wood of red bay has been used sparingly in interior finishing as well as in boat construction.

Features
Red bay has very aromatic leaves which can be substituted for the common spice, bay leaf, which normally is obtained from bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), a European species in the same family.

WARNING
Red bay trees in the southeastern United States are dying due to the accidental introduction of the red bay ambrosia beetle that spreads a fungal infection called the laurel wilt.

Jack Scheper 08/17/97; updated 11/8/08




logo - click for Floridata's homepage
Copyright 1996 - 2012
Floridata.com LC
Tallahassee, Florida USA