Persea borbonia, or red bay, is an evergreen tree that is native to North America, north of Mexico. It usually grows on the borders of swamp land in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas. The tree’s population has been reduced significantly by the red bay ambrosia beetle, a cause of laurel wilt.
- Average Height: Persea borbonia grow to 30 to 40 feet tall.
- Leaf Description: Red bay leaves are alternate, simple, entire margins, lance-shaped, evergreen, 3 to 7 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide. They have a spicy odor when crushed and are dark green above and pale green below.
- Bark Description: Red bay bark is reddish brown, with irregular furrows and flat-topped ridges.Their bark is quite thick.
- Twig Description: Persea borbonia twigs are moderately stout, green with brownish hairs, angled or ridged, with buds that are short and covered in rusty colored hairs.
- Flowering: Red bay flowers are small, light yellow-green occurring in small, clusters in leaf axils.
- Needle or Broadleaf: Broadleafed
- Comments: Red by are a member of the lauraceae family, thus their susceptibility to laurel wilt.