Myrica pensylvanica


in H. Duhamel du Monceau et al., Traité Arbr. Arbust. Nouv. ed. 2: 190. 1804.

Common names: Northern bayberry waxberry tallow bayberry small waxberry tallowshrub swamp candleberry candlewood candletree tallowtree myrique de Pennsylvanie
Synonyms: Cerothamnus pensylvanica (Mirbel) Moldenke Myrica cerifera var. frutescens Castiglioni Myrica macfarlanei Youngken
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3.

Shrubs or rarely small trees, deciduous, rhizomatous, colonial, to 2(-4.5) m. Branchlets reddish brown and gland-dotted when young, becoming whitish gray in age, otherwise densely pilose; glands yellow. Leaf blade aromatic when crushed, oblanceolate to elliptic, occasionally obovate, 2.5-6.5(-7.8) × 1.5-2.7 cm, usually membranous, less often leathery, base cuneate to attenuate, margins sometimes entire, usually serrate distal to middle, apex obtuse to rounded, sometimes acute, short-apiculate; surfaces abaxially pale green, pilose on veins, moderately to densely glandular, adaxially dark green, pilose (especially along midrib), glandless or sparsely glandular; glands yellow-brown. Inflorescences: staminate 0.4-1.8 cm; pistillate 0.3-1.4 cm. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on different plants. Staminate flowers: bract of flower shorter than staminal column, margins opaque, apically ciliate or completely glabrous, usually abaxially glabrous, occasionally densely pilose; stamens mostly 3-4. Pistillate flowers: bracteoles persistent in fruit, 4, not accrescent or adnate to fruit wall, margins slightly ciliate or glabrous, abaxially usually densely gland-dotted; ovary wall densely hirsute near apex, otherwise glabrous. Fruits globose-ellipsoid, 3.5-5.5 mm; fruit wall and warty protuberances hirsute, at least when young, hairs usually obscured by thick coat of white wax.

Phenology: Flowering spring–early summer, fruiting late summer–fall.
Habitat: Coastal dunes, pine barrens, pine-oak forests, old fields, bogs, edges of streams, ponds, and swamps
Elevation: 0-325 m


V3 838-distribution-map.gif

St. Pierre and Miquelon, N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Conn., Del., Maine, Md., Mass., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Va.


Where their ranges overlap, Myrica pensylvanica hybridizes quite readily with both M. cerifera and M. heterophylla. This ease of hybridization obviously contributes to an already complicated taxonomic situation; it is a matter for further field-based investigation.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Myrica pensylvanica"
Allan J. Bornstein +
Mirbel +
Northern bayberry +, waxberry +, tallow bayberry +, small waxberry +, tallowshrub +, swamp candleberry +, candlewood +, candletree +, tallowtree +  and myrique de Pennsylvanie +
St. Pierre and Miquelon +, N.B. +, Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.) +, N.S. +, Ont. +, P.E.I. +, Que. +, Conn. +, Del. +, Maine +, Md. +, Mass. +, N.H. +, N.J. +, N.Y. +, N.C. +, Ohio +, Pa. +, R.I. +  and Va. +
0-325 m +
Coastal dunes, pine barrens, pine-oak forests, old fields, bogs, edges of streams, ponds, and swamps +
Flowering spring–early summer, fruiting late summer–fall. +
in H. Duhamel du Monceau et al., Traité Arbr. Arbust. Nouv. ed. +
Endemic +, Illustrated +  and Weedy +
Cerothamnus pensylvanica +, Myrica cerifera var. frutescens +  and Myrica macfarlanei +
Myrica pensylvanica +
species +