Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas & Georgia


961

Shrub; Tree
Perennial
Dioecious

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia
Documented growing wild in GA NC SC

Common in Coastal Plain (rare elsewhere, where mostly introduced)

Look for it in interdune swales (where often dominant), pocosins, brackish marshes, other wet to moist habitats, now also widely planted (including in the Piedmont) as an ornamental or landscaping shrub and preistent or naturalizing in suburban woodlands, per Weakley's Flora

map
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full sun partial shade ...Wet ...Moist ...Dry

LEAVES:
Evergreen (usually)
Simple
Alternate

FLOWER:
Spring
Unisexual
Sepals absent
Petals absent
Superior ovary
Flowers in catkins

FRUIT:
Summer/Fall
Waxy gray
Drupe-like

 

TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!



Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Rosids: Fabids: Fagales

WEAKLEY'S FLORA (11/30/12):
Morella cerifera   FAMILY Myricaceae

LESS THAN PLANTS NATIONAL DATABASE:
Morella cerifera   FAMILY Myricaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (1968) 052-03-001a:
Myrica cerifera var. cerifera   FAMILY Myricaceae

LESS THAN Flora of North America
Myrica cerifera

 

COMMON NAME:
Common Wax Myrtle, Southern Bayberry


Click or hover over the thumbnails to see larger pictures.

image of Morella cerifera

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide    pnd_moce2_002_lvd

        

image of Morella cerifera

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913    pnd_myce_001_lvd

        

image of Morella cerifera

JK Marlow    jkm0502f_08

February    Horry County    SC

Myrtle Beach State Park

image of Morella cerifera

JK Marlow    s050227_i

February    Horry County    SC

Myrtle Beach State Park

Leaf blades oblanceolate; margins irregularly serrate near tip, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide.

image of Morella cerifera

JK Marlow    s050227_j

February    Horry County    SC

Myrtle Beach State Park

Leaves distinctly punctate on both surfaces, aromatic when crushed, per Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide.

image of Morella cerifera

JK Marlow    jkm0303m_24

March    Pickens County    SC

SC Botanical Garden

A taxonomically difficult group with intergrading species, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas.

image of Morella cerifera

JK Marlow    jkm0304h_06

April    Beaufort County    SC

Hunting Island State Park

image of Morella cerifera

Keith Bradley    kab_morella_cerifera_4447

April    Sumter County    SC

Mill Creek Park

Male flowers in sessile, axillary, dense cylindrical catkins, 6-10mm x 4-6mm, per Trees of the Southeastern United States.

image of Morella cerifera

JK Marlow    jkm090516_083

May    Charleston County    SC

Bark whitish to gray, thin, smooth, with conspicous horizontal lenticels, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide.

image of Morella cerifera

JK Marlow    jkm0309r_13

September    Georgetown County    SC

Huntington Beach State Park

Myrtle Beach, SC, gets its name from this plant, per Guide to the Wildflowers of SC.

image of Morella cerifera

JK Marlow    jkm0309r_24

September    Georgetown County    SC

Huntington Beach State Park

The berries are covered with wax that was/is used to make fragrant candles, per Guide to the Wildflowers of SC.

image of Morella cerifera

Paul Thompson    pstmyrica_cerifera

September?        

Leaf shape is oblanceolate; margins are serrate towards the tip. — Clemson Extension