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Solstice Flowers

Posted by sam_md z7 MD (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 20, 12 at 20:12

This small, evergreen native is a "sleepy-head" among trees. It waits until the Summer Solstice to bloom as seen here. I collect the black, pea-sized fruits on the DelMarVa peninsula later on to propagate them, they are not edible. They grow in swampy places. Crused leaves have a great, herbal scent. Can you give me a name?
Photobucket


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Solstice Flowers

???bayberry???


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RE: Solstice Flowers

Closest I could come was either Swamp Tupelo or Common Sweetleaf. I know both are wrong.


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RE: Solstice Flowers

Persea borbonia (Redbay) .


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RE: Solstice Flowers

Cool. I learn something playing this little game. I've heard of Red Bay, but never would have dreamed it would grow as far north as the Delmarva Peninsula. I thought of it as something strictly subtropical, basically Florida and perhaps a bit of the Gulf Coast of LA and TX. Now I know otherwise.

And yes, looking at the photo, it's very easy to see the resemblance to an avocado in the veins and the underside of the leaf.


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RE: Solstice Flowers

Cool. I learn something playing this little game. I've heard of Red Bay, but never would have dreamed it would grow as far north as the Delmarva Peninsula. I thought of it as something strictly subtropical, basically Florida and perhaps a bit of the Gulf Coast of LA and TX. Now I know otherwise.

And yes, looking at the photo, it's very easy to see the resemblance to an avocado in the veins and the underside of the leaf.


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RE: Solstice Flowers

Redbays are in danger of becoming extinct in some of their native ranges. I used to live a few miles from Hunting Island State Park, once a lush jungle-like paradise but rapidly became a graveyard for these wonderful plants. I left the area ten years ago....don't know if anything has been done to mitigate the damage or replace with a different native undergrowth.

The disease is called Laurel Wilt and is spread by a beetle vector.


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RE: Solstice Flowers

I read about that yesterday when looking up the tree. The beetle came from China. The disease can attack sassafras and other related trees in the laurel family as well.

Oh joy, something to add to the list:

Emerald Ash Borer. Oak wilt. Laurel Wilt. Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut. Giant Chinese Longhorn Tree Eating Beetles the size of Volkswagens. What next???

Will there be anything left when we're all done? Is it going to be like the image in the Katy Perry video where pigeons went extinct in 2030?


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RE: Solstice Flowers

Plants such as Bald Cypress, Sweetleaf, Red Bay and even Spanish Moss were all historically present in the Pocomoke Watershed very similar to Great Dismal Swamp plant communities. The good news is Red Bay seed collected from this location AWA nearby Chincoteague Island will survive the USDA Zone 7 winters without problems. The bad news is as pointed out earlier, Laurel Wilt. As the Red Bay becomes extirpated so does the Palamedes Swallowtail which requires Red Bay. This PDF relates a fascinating history of the Pocomoke Watershed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pocomoke Watershed PDF


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RE: Solstice Flowers

This pic was taken yesterday in a very dry, hot, 85°F Alexandria VA. Persea seemed unphased. Even an evergreen tree must loose leaves sometime. Notice the beautiful yellow fall color.
 photo 10-05-13003.jpg


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