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Persea palustris (Swamp bay)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Persea palustris

Persea palustris (Raf.) Sarg.

Swamp Bay, Swampbay

Lauraceae (Laurel Family)

Synonym(s): Persea borbonia var. pubescens, Persea pubescens, Tamala pubescens

USDA Symbol: PEPA37

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Swampbay (P. palustris (Raf.) Sarg.) is characterized by twigs and lower leaf surfaces covered with rust-colored hairs. It is found in coastal swamps and ranges from Delaware west to southeast Texas and south to the Bahamas.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Tree
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 65 feet tall, often much shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , DE , FL , GA , LA , MD , MS , NC , SC , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Southeastern North America and the Bahamas. From Delaware south to Florida and the Bahamas, west to southeast Texas
Native Habitat: Moist woodlands, savannas, and swamps

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Persea palustris in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Persea palustris in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Persea palustris


Record Modified: 2023-01-11
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