Myrica cerifera

(Photo by Brittany Mixon)

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Classification: Angiosperm, dicot
Family: Myricaceae
Common name: Wax Myrtle, Souther Wax Myrtle, Southern Bayberry

General Information(1,2)

Region of Origin: United States
USDA Plants Hardiness Zones: 7-10
Growth Habit: Shrub

  • Size: 25 feet tall
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
  • Flowering: Late winter

Diagnostic Characteristics


  • Other: Yellowish resin glands; 4.5 inches long, 2 inches wide

(Photo by Brittany Mixon)


  • Color: Grayish-white

(Photo by Brittany Mixon)


  • Perfect/Imperfect: Imperfect
  • Color: Yellow-green (Male flowers)
  • Inflorescence type: Catkins (Male flowers)
  • Other: Dioecious

(Photo by Brittany Mixon)


  • Size: 1/8 inch
  • Color: Gray

Horticultural Information(1,2)

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Moisture: Fairly wet soils
  • Maintenance: Easy to care for
  • Landscape Uses: Small tree or pruned shrub, around houses or buildings
  • Other: Salt tolerant, avoid dry soil

Interesting Facts(2)

  • The aromatic compounds in Wax Myrtle help to repel insects, including ticks.
  • The waxy cones are a high energy food source for birds in the winter, attracting and holding migratory warblers.


1) Dirr, M. (1998). Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing.
2) Scheper, J.(2003). Myrica cerifera . Retrieved from

Prepared by Brittany Mixon as a course requirement for BIOL 3630/5630, Spring 2013
Edited by Jessica Bartek