About fifty species of Myrica
are found around the world. Myrica
cerifera is native to the southern United
States including Florida.
In the wild, it found in moist to swampy sites. Leaves are evergreen. Plants
are dioecious. That is, a typical plant will bear either pollen-bearing flowers
or seed-producing flowers, not both. Fruits are important wildlife food.
Crushed leaves give a characteristic aroma of bayberry and are applied to
exposed skin as an emergency insect repellent. This dwarf cultivar has smaller
leaves and a compact habit.
See plants on the northwest corner of 832 B.
The wild type grows to about fifteen feet tall as a tall shrub or small tree. This dwarf cultivar is reported to grow to about three to four feet tall.
Light: sun to part shade
Water: well-drained to soggy soil, reported to be drought tolerant
Soil: widely adaptable
The dwarf selections of wax myrtle are relatively new to
gardening. They appear to be adaptable to a wide range of growing
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