Northern bayberry

Myrica pensylvanica

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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Northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
mih-REE-kah pen-sil-VAN-ih-kah
Genus:  Myrica

This North American coastal native exhibits quiet beauty and an easy-going habit. It grows to 10 feet tall, and spreads slowly to form colonies with glossy, semi-evergreen aromatic leaves.  It looks equally at home as a hedge, in an herb garden, or in a natural meadow.

Noteworthy Characteristics: 

Myricas are most effective en masse, for use in woodlands, meadows, borders, and formal areas. They have aromatic, dark green leaves and small flowers. The clustered fruits are small, bluish-black spheres encrusted with a whitish, waxy coating; plant at least one male to pollinate the female species. Many species were used for making bayberry candles, sealing wax, and soap. Some species are native to North America. 

Care: 

Grow in moist, humus-rich, preferably acidic soil in full sun to partial shade. They are tolerant of poor soils, drought, wet soils, and coastal conditions.

Propagation: 

Layer in spring, root greenwood cuttings in summer, or sow seed in a cold frame when ripe.

Problems: 

Leaf spots, dieback, stem rots, root rots, rust.

Overview

Height
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Growth Habit
Spreads
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Adaptable
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Attracts Song Birds,
Deer Resistant,
Fragrant Foliage,
Native,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Fruit
Bloom Time
Spring
Flower Color
Greenery,
Primrose Yellow
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Roadside,
Screening,
Waterside
Style
Herb Garden,
Meadow Garden,
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Tolerance
Drought Tolerant,
Frost Tolerant
Type
Shrubs

Myrica pensylvanica