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Common Name:

Northern Bayberry

Scientific Name:

Myrica pensylvanica

Family Name:



Myrica pensylvanica can be considered the northern counterpart to Myrica cerifera. Northern Bayberry is somewhat smaller in habit, more cold hardy, and either deciduous or semievergreen compared to Southern Waxmyrtle. Northern Bayberry offers folks in North Texas an alternative to Southern Waxmyrtle which is marginally hardy there. Northern Bayberry forms an irregular rounded suckering mound.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium shrub, large shrub


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Inconsequential, modtly dioecious

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Silver-gray waxy fragrant berries effective fall and winter, once used commercially as a scent for candles


4 ft to 8 ft


4 ft to 8 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Low Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium 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:

4, 5, 6, 7

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region D - West Texas
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Northern Bayberry can tolerate fairly adverse sites but tends to develop chlorosis on high pH soils and suffers from Texas summer heat.
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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.