Myrica pensylvanica

(Bayberry, Wax Myrtle)

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Hardiness Zones:

 3a  3b  4a  4b  5a  5b  6a  6b  7a  7b

Quick Overview:

Myrica pensylvanica, commonly called bayberry, is a dense-branching deciduous shrub with a rounded habit which typically grows 6-10′ tall. Native to North America where it is primarily found growing along the eastern coast (including seashore) from Newfoundland to North Carolina. Narrow, broadly oblanceolate, leathery, glossy, grayish-green leaves (to 4″ long) are dotted with resin and aromatic when crushed. A mostly dioecious shrub (male and female flowers appear in separate catkins on separate plants). Neither catkin is showy, with only the male flowers displaying color (drab yellowish-green). Flowers on female plants, if pollinated, are followed by attractive clusters of tiny, grayish-white fruits in late summer which usually persist through the winter, but are not particularly showy. The fruits are covered with an aromatic, waxy substance which is used to make bayberry candles, soaps and sealing wax. Fruits are attractive to birds.


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, peaty or sandy, acidic soils, but tolerates a wide range of soils and growing conditions, including poor soils, wet soils, drought, high winds and salt spray (seashore or road salt conditions). Groupings of plants need a least one male plant to facilitate pollination of the female plants and subsequent fruit set. Shrubs tend to sucker, and may form sizable colonies in optimum growing conditions. Shrubs are semi-evergreen in southern end of growing range.

Additional information

Common Name

Bayberry, Wax Myrtle

Botanical Name

Myrica pensylvanica


3 gallon

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-shade, Part-sun, Sun




5 to 10'

Soil Condition

Average to Wet Soils

Water Needs




Foliage Color


Deer Resistant


Berry Color


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