Index- plants in this Family
Theaceae / Tea
Loblolly Bay (Gordonia lasianthus)
Loblolly Bay is also known as Gordonia or simply Bay.

Plant Type: This is a shrub or small tree and is an evergreen which can reach a height of 18 Meters (59 feet ) .
Leaves: The leaves are alternate. Each leaf lanceolate or elliptic; finely toothed, shinny and leathery. The leaves last a long time and are often subject to insect damage. They turn red before fallling.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to 6cm wide (2.5 inches). They are white. Blooms first appear in early summer and continue into late summer. The flowers are fragrant with numerous yellow stamens
Bark: Dark gray or brown; thick, with narrow, flat ridges.
Habitat: Wet areas, bogs, swamps and moist woods.
Range: From Florida west to Mississippi and north to North Carolina on the costal plain.

      Color Photo     More Info      Classification

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Gordonia is after a British nurseryman, James Gordon (1728-1791). There are about thirty other species in the genus but this is the only one in the Americas. The species name is Latin and means "coarse hair" (lasios) and "flower" (anthos). It is unclear if this refers to the ragged margin of the petals or the cluster of stamens.

Radford uses the term "pocosins" to describe one of the habitats for Loblolly Bay. A pocosin is a special type of wetland found from Virginia to northern Florida. The term is Algonquin for an upland swamp. Pocosins are characterized by poor drainage and thus are wet, acidic, peaty and nutrient poor but on higher ground than actual standing water swamps or marshes that are often in close proximity to pocosins.

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves



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