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Wax Myrtle, Myrica cerifera

Go to - Landscape Trees
Landscape Shrubs

Family - Myricaceae

Also called Southern bayberry or Southern wax myrtle this shrub or small tree can grow 25 to nearly 40 feet tall with a 25 foot spread, more commonly seen in the 10-15 foot range.

This Florida native is a popular landscape element because of its versatility, toughness and attractive form. Wax myrtle is a very low maintenance plant, the berries are an important winter food source for many birds, and the waxy coating on them has been used to make bayberry scented candles.

Thought to have insect repelling qualities this plant was often planted close to dwellings by the early settlers in the south. 

Without pruning, Wax myrtle forms a small multiple trunked tree, it can also be kept pruned to form a dense shrubbery hedge or privacy screen.

Bark on crooked trunks is thin & grey, leaves are alternate, to 4 inches long with entire or serrated margins, aromatic when crushed.

U.S.D.A. zones 7 through 11.

Preferring moist sandy soil, Wax myrtle will grow well in a variety of poor soils, has fair drought tolerance once established, strong salt tolerance & will grow in full sun to full shade, but gets thin and "leggy" in the more shaded conditions.

Wax myrtle can be grown from seed, or transplanted clumps, pruned back and watered faithfully until well established.

Image of a Wax myrtle tree

Image - Wax myrtle leaves

Image - Wax myrtle berries

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