Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Gordonia lasianthus (L.) J. Ellis
- Family: Tea (Theaceae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: This handsome flowering tree is recognized by its solitary, white, 5-petalled
flowers up to 3 1/2 inches across, its leathery, evergreen leaves, and its flat, winged seeds.
- Habitat: Swamps, bayheads, deep ravines, hammocks, stream banks, bottomlands, pocosins.
- Habit: Evergreen tree up to 75 feet tall; crown narrow and conical; bark dark gray, rough and
furrowed at maturity.
- Twigs: Gray, smooth or hairy, at least when young.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, elliptic, pointed or rounded at the tip, tapering
to the base, shallowly round-toothed, smooth except for hairs on the veins on the lower surface
of the leaves, dark green above, paler beneath, up to 8 inches long, up to 2 1/2 inches wide.
- Flowers: Solitary in the axils of the leaves, white, up to 3 1/2 inches across; flower stalks stout,
up to 3 1/2 inches long.
- Sepals: 5, green, rounded at the tip, silky-hairy on the outer surface.
- Petals: 5, white, barely united at the base, rounded at the tip, ciliate, silky-hairy on the outer
- Stamens: Numerous, yellow, united at the base.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules woody, hard, ovate-oblong, silky-hairy, up to 3/4 inch long; seeds 4-8, flat,
winged, up to 1/2 inch long.
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