Natural treasures on the East Coast

Published 4:55 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Loblolly Bay (Gordonia lasianthus) is an evergreen small tree that grows on poorly drained soils on the South Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain from southeastern Virginia to western Florida. It occurs on Pocosin Lakes and Alligator River national wildlife refuges. It usually grows in the understory of pine pocosins, but it also grows in bay forest stands with sweetbay magnolia and red bay. The large white flowers are very attractive to a wide range of pollinating insects, but each flower only blooms for two days, and then the petals fall off.