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Morella cerifera

Common Name(s):
Bayberry, Candleberry, Eastern bayberry, Southern bayberry, Southern wax myrtle, Tallow shrub, Wax myrtle
Categories:
Native Plants, Shrubs
Comment:

This whispy evergreen shrub is native to the peidmont and coastal plain of North Carolina.  It has multiple trunks of light gray, almost white bark,  and can reach up to 20 feet tall, but there are many dwarf varieties as well that do well in small spaces.   Is useful as a screen, hedge, in wetlands or restoration gardens.   Light olive green leaves smell spicy when crushed.  Flowers are green and orivude an excellent source of nectar for honeybees and butterflies. You need to plant both male and female plants to enjoy the pale blue berries present on female plants in the winter.  Berries are popular with birds.  Colonists seperated berries from their waxy coating by boiling and then made candles, hence the common name. This plant is moderately deer resistant. 

Height:
6-12 ft.
Foliage:
fragrant, spicy, olive green
Flower:
Insignificant, green
Habit:
marshes, forests, swamps, fresh to brackish streams
Site:
Tolerant of saline conditions and urban confinement within pavement. Requires constant moisture to get established, but both drought- and flood-tolerant once established.
Texture:
fine
Form:
multi trunked
Fruit:
blue, waxy
Tags:
peidmont, coastal plain, nectar plant, bees, native, birds, honey bees, wildlife, native shrub, small space, deer resistant, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 2853

Wax myrtle Wax myrtle
Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY - 2.0
Wax myrtle Wax myrtle
JCVD100, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Wax myrtle Wax myrtle
Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY - 2.0