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Native Plant of the Week: Northern Bayberry

Family: Myriaceae


Name: Myrica pensylvanica - Northern Bayberry


Bloom Time: Spring


Flower: Yellowish green catkins


Soil Condition: Dry - Wet


Light: Sun - Partial Shade


Height: 6-8' tall by 5-10' wide


Native Range: Eastern North America


Zone: 3 to 7

Photo: Leaves and fruit (Jim Robbins, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Northern Bayberry is a fantastic deciduous (loses its leaves) shrub adaptable to a variety of conditions including dry parking lot islands, and shorelines to shady hedgerows and backyard borders. Bayberry is salt-tolerant and usually deer resistant. In order to get berries you need male and female plants. Please note these are not sexed in the trade.


Maintenance: Not necessary but may be pruned as a hedge or to control size.


Benefits: Pollinators, wildlife food source, adaptable to almost any situation


Fun Facts: The grayish-white fruit has a waxy coat and it is used to make bayberry candles, soaps, and sealing wax.


Companion Plants: Arctostaphyllus uva-ursi - Bearberry, Prunus maritima - Beach Plum, Baccharis halimifolia - Groundsel Bush, Juniperus virginiana - Eastern Red Cedar, Panicum virgatum - Switch Grass, Ammophila breviligulata - American Beach Grass


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References:

1. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/myrica-pensylvanica/