Morella cerifera

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Wax Myrtle


Also known as Myrica cerifera

Plant Specifics

Size:10-15 (20) ft tall by 8 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:White,green
Phenology:Evergreen. Inconspicuous blooms in spring. Fruits ripen in late summer to early fall.
Noted for:Hurricane wind resistance


Recommended Uses:

Good as a background or hedge plant that also attracts wildlife. Rain gardens or bioswales.

Considerations:It is flammable, so plant away from buildings in fire-prone areas. It fixes nitrogen with its roots like a legume, so it tolerates poor soils.

Dioecious (separate male and female plants).

Easily planted from seed or cuttings.

Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Tolerant of occasional/brief inundation such as can occur in storm surges.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Moderate. Tolerant of salty wind and may get some salt spray. Exposure to salt spray would be uncommon (major storms).
Soil or other substrate:Humus (organic, upland), Loam, Lime rock, Sand
Soil pH:Acidic to circum-neutral



Good wildlife cover.

Seeds eaten by birds. 


Larval host for banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus) and red-banded hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)butterflies.

Native Habitats:Wet-dry sites. Upland mixed forest, floodplains, wetland edges, cutthroat seeps, old fields, scrub, fencerows

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures



Interesting smell to the foliage.

Candles were sometimes made using the wax that covers the seeds.

General Comments:There is a natural dwarf form that is associated with xeric uplands.  I makes a nice, low-growing shrub in casual gardens.