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Northern (Myrica pennsylvanica) and Southern Bayberry (Morella cerifera)

Adaptable, attractive, and a favorite of birds and pollinators make Bayberry a great addition to the landscape.

Bayberries, also known as wax myrtles, are evergreen in milder regions but shed their leaves in northern locations. They prefer full sun and part shade and are salt tolerant. Northern bayberry (Myrica pennsylvanica) is hardy in zones 3 to 6 and performs well in poor, sandy soil as well as clay. Southern bayberry (Morella cerifera) grows taller, prefers moist soil and is hardy in zones 7 to 11. It is more drought and flood tolerant once established.

The flowers may not be the showiest, but they do attract butterflies. But the grayish wax covered fruit are decorative, used to make bayberry candles and a bird favorite. You do need a male and female plant for good fruit production.

Use bayberry in mixed borders, as hedges or for erosion control.

A bit more information: Bayberries are also a food source (host plant) for several caterpillars.  And the deer and rabbits tend to avoid eating the Southern bayberry.


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