Myrica pensylvanica
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Myrica pensylvanica

northern bayberry
swamp candleberry
wax myrtle

  family myricaceae 
  genus myrica 

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Genus  Myrica Species  pensylvanica Variety  Cultivar  Common names  northern bayberry   swamp candleberry   wax myrtle Family  MYRICACEAE Specimen number  S11480 Data source  ColorNat p8;DyePl p26;HtZn p144;Xeri p306;Xeri p301
Life cycle
Life form  Terrestrial Life cycle  Woody perennial Life span  5 - 20 years Annual cycle  Evergreen Stature  Shrub Growth form  Various Growth habit  Not applicable Overall height  3' - 10' Overall spread   
Sunshine  Various Water  Dry Optimal soil texture  Various Acceptable soil pH  Neutral USDA hardiness  USDA zones 02a-10b AHS heat zones  Heat zones 08-01 Sunset climate zones  Not classified
Suitable for gardens  yes Nursery  Unknown Compost  no Size at acquisition  Unknown Garden location  Unknown Garden notes  Myrica pensylvanica has attractive berries during the winter. The leaves of Northern bayberry (also known as swamp candleberry and wax myrtle) have been used in traditional fabric dyeing. A range of possible colors can be produced by this plant including yellow, gold, bright yellow and olive. It is used in dyeing wool. When dyeing with this plant, alum is used as a mordant to fix the color to the fabric. Small waxy fruits are used to make bayberry candles. This species can survive the coldest of winter climates with annual temperatures as low as -50� Fahrenheit. This plant needs summer days with high heat. It likes dry soils. This species can survive short periods of drought.
Special qualities
Tolerates drought  yes Tolerates high humidity  no Tolerates seaside conditions  no Insect resistant  no Disease resistant  no Deer resistant  no Best uses    Symbiosis  Attracts butterflies  no Attracts hummingbirds  no Autumn foliage  no Colorful berries  yes Desirable qualities    Other interest  small gray-white berries in autumn and w Other interest color  Other interest period   
Adverse factors
Common pests  Poisonous parts  Poisonous indications  Internal poison  no Dermatologic poison  no Livestock poison  no Mechanical injury  no Hay fever pollen    Hay fever season    Adverse qualities   
Herbal medicine
Medicinal properties  Medicinal parts  Has medicinal uses  no Do not self-administer  no Do no use if pregnant  no Legally restricted  no Toxicity precautions  Medicinal notes 
Traditional uses
Parts used  Traditional uses  Contemporary uses  Fragrance  aromatic leaves Fragrance parts  Leaves Fragrance intensity    Fragrance category    Dye parts  Leaves Dye color  yellow,gold,bright yellow,olive
Propagule  Various Pollination method    Planting style    Crop spacing    Row spacing    Cold frame  Planting period    Harvesting period    Frost tolerance    Heat requirement    Fertilizer  Typical Time to harvest 
Is edible  no Culinary uses  Nutritional value  Edible parts  Description of edible parts Flavor / texture 
Horticulture notes  Myrica pensylvanica most likely originates from Eastern US.
Tag needs printing  no Collection notes  Myrica pensylvanica is a woody perennial. Northern bayberry (locally known in some parts as swamp candleberry and wax myrtle) is evergreen. Leaves: This plant has leathery leaves.

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Last reviewed November 01, 2004   


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