Loblolly Bay

This week for Flora and Fauna Friday we have a unique and beautiful tree of the flatwoods: Loblolly Bay (Gordonia lasianthus).

Loblolly Bay is a member of the Tea family, Theaceae, and the only member of its genus found in the United States. Loblolly Bay is found across the coastal plain of the Southeast, from North Carolina to Alabama. Loblolly Bay thrives in the acidic, saturated, and poorly drained soils of our flatwoods and Carolina bays. As such, it is locally common throughout the Lowcountry where there habitats are found.

What distinguishes Loblolly Bays from our other hardwood trees is in its bark, foliage, and, most notably, its flowers. With age the bark of Loblolly Bay becomes deeply furrowed in long vertical ridges. Canyons of carmine or gulleys of gray; bark color is variable in various environments. Its leaves are reasonably sized and evergreen, a deeply enriched emerald delta beneath the basin of the bark. Floating upon this verdant expanse shines a flora flotilla. A quintessentially Tea patterned perfect flower reminiscent in size and position to a Magnolia. Five fuzzy petals of simple whiteness ring a basket of golden anthers. Much like the unrelated Southern Magnolia, this tree can reach an impressive size and its brilliantly colorless flowers act as beacons to beckon insects and admiring eyes. Flower appear at the eve of the summer solstice and linger for the following weeks.

News & Events

Upcoming Events

  • November 10, 2024
    Edisto Island Open Land Trust Annual Oyster RoastRead More
See The Calendar

Latest News

See more News