Redbay (Persea borbonia)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Redbay
Give a thumbs up Florida Mahogany
Give a thumbs up Tisswood
Give a thumbs up Shorebay
Give a thumbs up Scrubbay
Give a thumbs up Red Bay

Botanical names:
Persea borbonia Accepted
Persea carolinensis Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7b -15 °C (5 °F) to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 18 to 50 feet
Plant Spread: 15 to 25 feet (4.6-7.6m)
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: Used for tea and for flavoring meats and soups; can be used as a substitute for store bought bay leaf.
Fruit: Other: Dark blue to black shiny drupe
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Green
Other: Yellowish green
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Shade Tree
Culinary Herb
Useful for timber production
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Culinary Herb/Spice
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: in moist sand or peat for one month at 41 degrees - sow in spring
Days to germinate: if sown fresh in situ they will germinate in several months
Sow in situ
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


Photo gallery:

Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Jul 23, 2015 5:25 PM

This is a larval host plant for the Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes) butterfly.

A native plant of the US, occurring in AL, AR, FL, LA, GA, MS, NC, SC, and TX.

The seeds are eaten and disseminated by songbirds, Bob Whites, deer, bears, and turkeys.

Leathery, alternate lance-shaped leaves 3 to 6 inches in length, pinnate venation, 1 to 2 inches wide. Twigs are green with brownish hairs, buds are covered in rusty colored hairs. The wood is brittle and subject to damage by wind, so if using as a specimen tree or focal point, pruning would be advisable. Birds love the fruit, so it is not advisable to plant it where cars will be parked beneath or where the berries will stain the sidewalk or concrete patios, etc.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Let's see what else we're growing 2015 by dyzzypyxxy Jan 7, 2016 5:33 PM 1,034
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130

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