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Wax Myrtle
Scientific Name: Morella cerifera (L.) Small
Synonym: Myrica pusilla, Myrica cerifera var. pumila, Cerothamnus ceriferus, Cerothamnus pumilus, Myrica cerifera
Family: Myricaceae
Wax Myrtle (Morella  cerifera) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 25-28,31-32
USDA: 6-9

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Origin: Southeastern USA, northern Mexico

Growth Habits: Large evergreen shrub or small tree, up to 15 to 20 feet tall (4.5-6 m) or more; alternate, spathulate, toothed, dark olive green, shiny leaves, 1.6 to 5 inches long (4-12 cm), 0.25 to 0.75 inch wide (0.6-1-8 cm), fragrant when crushed, with pale green underside, yellow resin dots on both surfaces

Watering Needs: Moderate to regular water; tolerates drought and salt

Propagation: Seeds, cuttings, and layering.


The genus name 'Myrica', still often used for this species is the antique name for the unrelated tamarisk tree.

As Myrica cerifera, Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 1: 585. Courtesy of Kentucky Native Plant Society

Blooming Habits:
The Wax Myrtle is dioecious, the small flowers appear as catkins at the leaf axils, in spring.

Fruiting Habits:
Round, waxy bluish-white bayberry-scented drupes, 0.12 inch in diameter (3 mm), appearing in clusters close to the stems. The wax from the fruit has been used in candle-making. The fruit is popular with many different bird species.


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.