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Northern Bayberry

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Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) – Myrica pensylvanica, also known as the northern bayberry, is an interesting native shrub known for its unusual small, waxy gray fruit that tightly hug the branches through the winter. It thrives in poor, sandy, or gravely acidic soils, some suckering, and is excellent for massing. The fruit is often used for candles.

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
9 feet
Average Landscape Width:
8 feet
Growth Rate:
medium
Genus:
Myrica
Species:
pensylvanica
Summer Foliage Color:
dark green
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
average
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Plant Form:
round
Canopy:
closed
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Pollution Tolerance:
high
Other Species Names:
Candleberry
Branching:
multi-stemmed
Density:
dense

Ornamental Features

Northern Bayberry has dark green deciduous foliage on a plant with a round habit of growth. The fragrant narrow leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. It produces gray berries from mid fall to late winter. The smooth khaki (brownish-green) bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Northern Bayberry is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Northern Bayberry will grow to be about 9 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have sandy, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

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