southern bayberry
Morella caroliniensis
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: evergreen bayberry
  • LEAVES: alternate, simple, evergreen; oblanceolate; 2 to 5 inches long; dark green and glabrous above; margins with a few teeth above the middle; spicy or aromatic smell; yellow resin dots on lower surface
  • FLOWER: dioecious; male and female flowers in oblong catkins
  • FRUIT: drupe; round and waxy blue-gray in compact clusters following the branch; fall maturing
  • TWIGS: green or brown; slender
  • BARK: gray-brown; smooth or with warty lenticels
  • FORM: small tree, up to 40 feet
  • HABITAT: found across a range of sites, but more common on moist sites
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeast US coastal plains, Virginia to east Texas
  • USES: songbirds consume fruit; formerly used for candle making; leaves repel insects
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. similar to waxmyrtle but with larger leaves
    2. resin dots only on lower leaf surface
    3. fragrant foliage

    NOTE: looks like waxmyrtle (Morella cerifera) except for larger leaves and wetter sites; likely just a variety of waxmyrtle