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Plants of the UNF Campus

Myrica cerifera ‘Suwanee Elf’ - Suwanee Elf wax myrtle
Family Myricaceae


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.

Care Instructions:

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 conditions.