Waxmyrtle

picture of waxmyrtleMyrica cerifera 'Emperor'

Family:
Myricaceae

Lifecycle:
Perennial

Native or Introduced:
Native

Nutrient Removal Rating:
Low (at high concentrations) Moderate-High (at low concentrations polishing species)

Wildlife Value:
Medium

Invasiveness:
Medium

Rooted or Floating:
Rooted

Site Requirements:
Full sun to part shade

Maximum Water Depth:
Plant along shoreline (root zone should not be continuously inundated)

Plant Description:
Wax myrtles are evergreen shrubs that are capable of forming colonies via rhizome growth. Stem surfaces are red brown. Young branches have many visible yellow surface glands.

Leaves release pungent aromas when crushed. Blades are narrowly elliptical to elliptical. Upper blade surfaces are dark green while lower surfaces are yellow green.

Flowers are either male or female with different sexes being produced on different plants. Flowers develop into small, round fruits that possess thick coatings of blue-white wax.

Flowering occurs from mid winter to spring with fruit developing from summer to fall. Plants inhabit moist areas such as bogs and swamps. They can also be found along the banks of ponds and creeks. Wax myrtle is capable of living in drier areas as well.

Sources:

  • Flora of North America (see link below)

Additional reading: