Position: Full sun
Flowering period: Late spring
Soil: Moist, well drained
Eventual Height: 15m
Eventual Spread: 8m
Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Persea palustris is an evergreen large shrub or small tree with a rounded to cylindrical habit. Its dark green leaves are ovate to elliptic with entire margins, up to 15cm long and 5cm broad. The underside of the leaves are covered in rust coloured hairs. It leaves are fragrant when crushed, smelling similar to Laurus nobilis. New emerging leaves are red/ brown in colour. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 45cm. Its green/ white flowers are borne in clusters, emerging from the leaf axils and are up to 6mm across. Its black fruit is a drupe and up to 8mm across.
Persea palustris, commonly known as the Swambay or Swamp Red Bay, is native to eastern North America. In its native habit it grows in wetlands, swamps and marshes.
The etymological root of the binomial name Persea is derived from the Greek name for an oriental tree. Palustris is from the Latin meaning ‘of marshes’.
The landscape architect may find Persea palustris useful as an evergreen shrub for wet locations.
Ecologically, Persea palustris is attractive to pollinating insects. Its fruit is attractive some birds and mammals.
Persea palustris prefers moist, poorly drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.
Persea palustris requires little maintenance.