Evergreen Shrubs (6-10 ft)

Landscape Significance

 Waxmyrtle is important for wildlife that depends on the persistent fruits for fat and fiber in their winter diet. Birds, such as wild turkey, bob-white quail, various waterfowl, catbirds, thrashers, bluebirds, vireos, and warblers are all frequent visitors to wax myrtle thickets.

It is also very salt-tolerant (soil and aerosol), making it suitable for seaside applications.

Myrica cerifera is known commonly as Waxmyrtle
This photo was taken at Trident Technical College, North Charleston, SC. 

Waxmyrtle leaves contain volatile oil which makes this evergreen shrub a very flammable plant. Crushed leaves give off an aromatic odor. It is also known as Southern Bayberry. It's small, round winter fruit is covered with a slight bluish-colored wax.

It is difficult to know whether this plant should be listed under "Small Trees" because it is capable of growing up to 20 ft with a spread just as wide. Waxmyrtles are tough, durable shrubs but are sensitive to cold. They have no serious plant diseases or insect pests.

Identifying characteristics

The leaves are simple, alternately arranged, glossy green and typically 1½ to 3 inches long and ? to ¾ inches wide, sometimes bigger (4½ inches long and 2 inches wide). The gray-green bark is thin, smooth, and often has gray patches.

More information on Waxmyrtle is available at the Clemson Home & Garden Informaton Center: Clemson HGIC - Waxmyrtle

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