Morella cerifera

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Morella cerfiera
More ceri.jpg
Photo by Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia,
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Tracheophyta- Vascular plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Fagales
Family: Myricaceae
Genus: Morella
Species: M. cerfiera
Binomial name
Morella cerfiera
(L.) Small
More ceri dist.jpg
Natural range of Morella cerfiera from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Common waxmyrtle; Southern bayberry

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Myrica cerifera L.; Myrica cerifera Linnaeus var. cerifera; Morella cerifera (Linnaeus) Small; Cerothamnus ceriferus (Linnaeus) Small


"Dioecious or monoecious shrubs or small trees, with brown to brownish-black, pubescent to glabrate twigs. Leaves deciduous or semi-evergreen, coriaceous, petiolate, exstipulate. Staminate catkins ovoid-cylindric, 0.6-2 cm long, 4-6 mm in diam.; bracteate and bracteolate; stamens 2-1, mostly 2-5. Pistillate catkins ovoid or cylindric, 5-10 mm long, deciduous-bracteate. Fruits drupaceous, white, globose, verrucose, 2.5-7 mm in diam. A taxonomically difficult group with intergrading species." [1]

"Shrub or small tree, 0.3-7 m tall. Leaves oblanceolate or elliptic, to 8 cm long and 2cm wide, heavily resinous on both surfaces, usually pubescent beneath, acute or obtuse, serrate or entire, base cuneate to attenuate, petioles to 1 cm long. Fruits 2.5-3.5 mm in diam." [1]


Is found within the Coastal Plain and as far north as New Jersey. [2]



Is naturally found in interdune swales, pocosins, brackish marshes, and other wet to moist habitats. [2] Is widely planted as an ornamental or as a landscaping shrub. [2]


Flowers in April, and also from August to October. [2]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 360. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Weakley, Alan S. Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States: Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU). PDF. 644.