Persea borbonia

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Persea borbonia - Red Bay, Tisswood
Common name: Red Bay, Tisswood
Family: Lauraceae (Laurel)
Distribution: SE US
Habitat: Full sun to part shade, hot and dry to wet and swampy soils.
Hardiness: 0 - 50 F
Life form: Evergreen tree
Bloom Time: April to May
Fruit characteristics: Blue or black fruit which begins to mature in summer and ends in fall. August to September.
Attracts: Birds, butterflies
Foliage characteristics: Simple, alternate, pointed, green leaves with entire margins. Emit a spicy smell when crushed. 2-4" long.
Average height: 30-40'
Ethnobotanical uses: Dried leaves used to spice food.
Medicinal/pharmaceutical: Seminole tribe used this plant to induce vomiting.
Bark characteristics: Ridged, red-brown bark.
Description: Redbay leaves give off a spicy scent when crushed - also giving a hint to their use as a bayleaf substitute in stews.
Redbay is Endangered in Maryland.
Links: Fire Effects Information System (FEIS)NC State ExtensionUS Forest Service Fact Sheet


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