Swampbay AKA Red Bay (Persea palustris) - Tree Profile

 Swampbay (Persea palustris) - Tree Profile

Persea palustris closeup leaf hairs
Photo by CoolForests.org staff, Florence SC USA
 Previously known as Redbay (Persea borbonia), Swampbay is now considered its own tree (genus: Persea, species: palustris). The USDA has it's distribution range starting in TX and extending to the East Coast in the Carolinas. This small tree is in the Lauraceae family, which is a part of the evergreen trees genus Persea. This genus contains around 150 different species. 


The challenge is telling the difference between  persea borbonia or persea palustris, which is done by considering a single line in this key, below (which basically says the difference is that swampbay has more golden brownish red hairs going along the leaf veins, like in this photo): 

4a Lower leaf surfaces with shaggy brown pubescence, especially along principle veins

5. Persea palustris

4b Lower leaf surfaces glaucous with gold pubescence (magnification required)

4. Persea borbonia

Risk of Extinction of Swampbay Tree 

The fungus (Ophiostoma sp.), which is carried by the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle (Xyleborus glabratus) is poised to destroy swamp bay - Source