Persea borbonia var. borbonia

Photo by Louise Raterman. Photograph belongs to the photographer who allows use for FNPS purposes only. Please contact the photographer for all other uses.

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 8A 8B 9A 9B 

QR code FNPSlogo

2002-2022, Copyright Florida Native Plant Society

Red Bay


Also known as Persea borbonia

Plant Specifics

Size:20-70 ft tall by 10-20 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White
Phenology:Evergreen. Inconspicuous flowers in spring. Fruit ripens in fall.
Habitats:Upland hardwood forests, dry mesic hammocks, calcareous hammocks. Sometime associated with wetlands.


Recommended Uses:This and other bays are being attacked by a fatal disease (laurel wilt disease). Avoid spreading this plant, it is best not to plant this or other bays.
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray Tolerance:Moderate. Tolerant of salty wind and may get some salt spray. Exposure to salt spray would be uncommon (major storms).
Soil/Substrate:Humus (organic, upland), Loam, Sand



Fruits eaten and dispersed by birds.

Larval host plant for palamedes swallowtail (Papilio palamedes) and spicebush swallowtail (Papilio troilus) butterflies.

Attracts bees including Colletes banksi, C. brimleyi, C. nudus, Augochloropsis metallica, Evylaeuspectoralis, Epeolus zonatus, Apis mellifera (honeybee) and  Bombus impatiens (Deyrup et al. 2002).