HILL REDBAY (Persea borbonia)
Persea borbonia is a species of plant in the Lauraceae family, with several common names including redbay, tisswood, scrubbay, shorebay, and swampbay.
It is one of about 150 species in the evergreen tree genus Persea. It is an evergreen tree that is native to the Southeastern United States in North America.
Persea borbonia can be present as either a small tree or a large shrub. It has evergreen leaves that are about 3 to 6 inches long with a lance shape. The leaves are arranged alternately and emit a spicy smell when crushed. The leaves vary in color from bright green to dark green. These trees are capable of producing fruit that is a small, blue or black drupe. Redbay is a perennial, with a non-herbaceous stem that is lignified.
The plant is not widely used in the present day for medicinal uses, however the Seminole Indians used to use it as an emetic, to induce vomiting. The dried up leaves can be used as a condiment.
The wood is hard and strong, which can be used to build boats, cabinets and for lining the interior of structures. The wood is not traded on a very large scale so it is confined to the regions where P. borbonia grows.
Persea borbonia is cultivated as an ornamental tree for gardens and parks.
Deer and bears also eat the leaves and fruits of redbay. Birds and turkey only eat the fruit of the redbay.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)