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Common Name:

Southern Waxmyrtle

Scientific Name:

Myrica cerifera

Family Name:



Myrica cerifera is one of the most versatile shrubs for general use in the southern two-thirds of Texas. The soft textured aromatic foliage provides an excellent backdrop to perennial borders. This shrub is best use as a large evergreen screen or limbed up as a small tree to show of the smooth silver-gray bark. Southern Waxmyrtle is tough enough to do double duty as an erosion control species on banks in minimum maintenance areas.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium shrub, large shrub, small tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Inconspicuous, mostly dioecious

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Waxy fragrant fruit on females in autumn / winter


site responsive, 5 ft to 20 ft, 8 ft to 12 ft on most sites


6 ft to 10 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Can be coaxed to survive on higher pH soils, but suffers. Can be a very rapid grower when moisture is available, responses well to supplemental fertilizer. Wean off irrigation and N fertilizers in the fall to promote tissue maturation.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.