Wax Myrtle

Morella cerifera

Wax Myrtle Morella cerifera is a native evergreen shrub or small tree (20′ X 10’ – 15′) that occurs in moist forest, marshes, fresh to slightly brackish stream banks, and swamps in most parishes of Louisiana. It is spreading into areas that were historically Cajun Prairie. Wax Myrtle is both drought- and flood-tolerant once it is established. Its olive-green leaves have a spicy fragrance, and female plants bear pale blue, wax-covered fruit eaten by many birds, especially Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Wax Myrtle grows best in moist, acid soils with full sun to part sun, but tolerates a wide variety of growing conditions including wet sites with poor drainage. Wax Myrtle is a popular screening shrub for residential landscapes.

The handsome gray to almost white trunk can be limbed up to give multi-stemmed plants an attractive sculpted look. ‘Don’s Dwarf’ is a cultivar available in the trade; it is a small (6′ X 6′) selection of this species with full, dense foliage. Don’s Dwarf prefers good drainage and slightly acidic soil.

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