Wax myrtle, Southern Bayberry
Myrica cerifera

Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen shrub or small tree. Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488) and at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).
Medium to large shrub or small tree with a narrow crown from crooked trunks. Bark pale gray. Leaves wax-covered, semi-deciduous, 1-4 inches long, aromatic when crushed.
Typically 8-15 feet in height in South Florida, but extremely variable; to 36 feet in Florida. Sometimes as broad as tall, especially when smaller.
Growth Rate:
Eastern and southeastern United States west to Texas and Oklahoma and south to the Monroe County Keys; Bermuda, West Indies, Mexico and Central America. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from the Miami-Dade County mainland and North Key Largo to the lower Keys. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Swamps and forest edges.
Moist to wet, well-drained to poorly-drained sandy, limestone, or organic soils, usually with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous catkins.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak winter-spring.
Small, waxy bluish drupe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for red-banded hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) butterflies and io (Automeris io) moths.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed; usually cold stratified. Also can be grown from cuttings with difficulty.

Chuck McCartney
Wes Jurgens
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Don & Joyce Gann