With a name like that, it has to be cool.
And, it is! The loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus) are in bloom in the Back Woods. The white saucer like blossoms might look somewhat like small magnolia flowers but, they are of no relation. Loblolly bay are actually in the tea family (Theaceae) and are related to the ornamental camellia that you may have in your yard and the camellia cultivated for the production of tea. Loblolly bay can reach heights up to 65 feet. They prefer wet, poorly drained acid soils and are commonly found in wet flatwoods forest systems. The blooming period of loblolly is fairly short (usually just June through July) and individual flowers last only a day or two. So, now is the time to stop by the Back Woods and catch a glimpse of this flatwoods beauty before the show is over.