Trees or shrubs, with coriaceous evergreen leaves, and large white solitary axillary flowers, often clustered at the ends of branches. Sepals 5, imbricated, rounded, concave. Petals 5, imbricated, obovate. Stamens ∞, 5-adelphous, each cluster cohering with the base of a petal. Ovary 1, 3-5-celled; style-1; stigma 5-rayed. Capsule woody, ovoid, 5-valved, the axis persistent. Seeds pendulous, compressed, with a short terminal or lateral wing; embryo straight or oblique; cotyledons ovate, longitudinally plaited; radicle short, superior. [Named for James Gordon, a London nurseryman.]

About 16 species, natives of eastern North America, Mexico and eastern Asia. The following is the type of the genus.

2 Gordonia Ellis Phil Trans 60 518 Pl 11 1770 1220

1. Gordonia LasiÓnthus L. Loblolly Bay. Holly-Bay. Tan-Bay. Swamp Or Black Laurel

Fig. 2878

Hypericum Lasianthus L. Sp. Pl. 783. 1753.

Gordonia Lasianthus L. Mant. 2: 570. 1771.

A tree 45°-75° high. Leaves lanceolate or oblong, acute, attenuate and involute at the base, very nearly sessile, coriaceous, persistent, 3'-5' long, 1'-2' wide, serrulate, glabrous, shining; peduncles 1-3' long, ascending, I-flowered; flowers 1 1/2-2' broad; sepals orbicular, silky, ciliate; petals slightly pubescent without; capsule ovoid-conic, pointed, 6"-8" long, sometimes 6-valved; wing of the seed terminal.

In low woods, Virginia to Florida. Wood soft, light red; weight per cubic foot 29 lbs. May-July.