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Myrica heterophylla

Common Name(s):
Swamp bayberry
Categories:
Native Plants, Shrubs
Comment:

Larger leaves and denser plant than M. cerifera; native to portions of southeastern US.  Tolerates wet planting sites.  Its bark is thin, smooth and gray/brown.

Regions:  Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:   Spring           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Wildlife Value:  The Bayberry is highly resistant to damage from deer.  It provides excellent winter and extreme weather coverage.  It is a host plant for the Red-banded Hairstreak butterfly. Its fruits are eaten by birds, especially yellow-rumped warblers (which are very efficient at digesting the waxy fruits), in the fall and winter.  

Compare this Plant to: M. cerifera M. pensylvanica

Height:
8-12 ft.
Foliage:
The Swamp bayberry has alternate, simple, glossy dark green leaves. The leaves grow to 5 in. long and are fragrant when crushed.
Flower:
The Swamp bayberry has non-showy flowers and clusters of small white to gray globose fruit. In the spring, small male and female slim cylindrical flowers mature. The small tree/shrub produces a bluish/white drupe that matures in clusters on short stalks. Only one sex is to be found on any one plant, so both male and female plants must be grown if seed in required.
Zones:
7 to 9
Habit:
Semi-evergreen to evergreen
Site:
The Swamp bayberry is best grown in sun to partial shade. It will tolerate range of soil types such as sand, clay, poor, wet
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Upright rounded dense shrub
Exposure:
Full sun, part shade
Fruit:
Berries
Width:
9 ft.
Tags:
wet soil, deciduous, wet sites, birds, fragrant, wildlife, privacy screen, wet, butterflies, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 1675

Myrica heterophylla Myrica heterophylla
Homer Edward Price, CC BY - 2.0
Myrica heterophylla Myrica heterophylla
Homer Edward Price, CC BY - 2.0