Alphabetical Plant Listing

Morella californica (Pacific Wax Myrtle)

Pacific Wax Myrtle, California Wax Myrtle, Pacific Bayberry, California Bayberry, Myrica californica


Moderately fast growing and long-lived, Morella californica (Pacific Wax Myrtle) is a densely bushy, evergreen shrub with slender, ascending branches clothed with small, narrow, glossy, dark-green leaves, serrated on their margins. The foliage is aromatic when crushed. Inconspicuous spring catkins give way to clusters of dark purple, bumpy berries in late summer, persisting into midwinter and providing food for birds, including kingbirds, mockingbirds, flickers, woodpeckers and many other birds. Easy to grow and easy care, Pacific Wax Myrtle is quite an ornamental shrub with its showy berries and dense, shiny evergreen foliage. Very versatile, it is an ideal choice for formal or naturalistic gardens. It can be sheared to produce manicured hedges or mixed with other evergreens to create an informal screen. It makes an attractive specimen plant and provides background interest to a perennial garden. An excellent small garden tree, especially for coastal plantings due to its tolerance to salt spray.

  • Grows up to 10-30 ft. tall and wide (3-9 m). Adds 24 in. per year (60 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade, in average, dry to moist, slightly acid, well-drained soils. The more sun it receives the denser the growth. Tolerates only occasional irrigation, however, its appearance is enhanced with regular waterings. Drought tolerant once established.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for thrips, spider mites and whiteflies. Deer resistant.
  • Responds well to pruning and will tolerate shearing.
  • Propagate by seeds, cuttings, or by layering.
  • Native to California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10' – 30' (3m – 9m)
Spread 10' – 30' (3m – 9m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Formal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Born1945 (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10' – 30' (3m – 9m)
Spread 10' – 30' (3m – 9m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Formal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Morella californica (Pacific Wax Myrtle)

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