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Common Names: Southern Bayberry
Scientific Name: Morella cerifera (formerly Myrica cerifera)

Shrub Characteristics

  • Evergreen: Southern Bayberry is an evergreen shrub, retaining its leaves year-round.
  • Size: Typically grows to a height of 6-12 ft. with a similar spread, though it can reach up to 20 ft. in optimal conditions.
  • Leaves: The leaves are simple, alternate, and aromatic, with a leathery texture and a dark green color.
  • Bloom: Produces small, inconspicuous flowers in late winter to early spring.
  • Fruit: Bears small, waxy, blue-gray berries that persist into winter and are aromatic.

Growing Conditions

  • Water Use: Low to Medium
  • Light Requirement: Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Soil Moisture: Moist to Well-drained

Ecological Benefits

Southern Bayberry is ecologically important in Maryland as it provides habitat and food for various wildlife. Its berries are a valuable food source for birds, especially during the winter months. The shrub’s dense foliage offers shelter for birds and small mammals. Its aromatic leaves and berries contribute to the plant's overall ecological value, supporting biodiversity and enhancing the health of Maryland's natural landscapes.

Southern Bayberry aka Southern Wax Myrtle

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