loblolly bay Theaceae Gordonia
lasianthus (L.) Ellis symbol: GOLA
Leaf: Alternate, simple, narrow elliptical, leathery, finely serrated, 3 to 6 inches long, 1 to 2 inches wide, evergreen, lustrous dark green above, pale and dull beneath.
Flower: Handsome, 5 petaled, white flowers, 2 to 3 inches across, solitary, appear in mid-summer.
Fruit: Woody, 5-parted capsule, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, on a long stalk (1 1/2 to 3 inches).
Twig: Moderately stout, gray turning dark, buds gray or rusty hairy, pointed at tips.
Bark: Light gray, splotchy, later develops splits and flat ridges.
Form: Small tree with narrow crown and straight trunk, may reach 60 feet but typically smaller.
Looks like: sweetbay magnolia - redbay - common sweetleaf - Franklin tree
Additional Range Information: Gordonia lasianthus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting.
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)