Pacific Wax Myrtle

  • Morella californica
  • Lifeform: Tree
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Height: 15'-35'
  • Native: Yes
Pacific Wax Myrtle
Pacific Wax Myrtle

Pacific Wax Myrtle, California Wax Myrtle, Pacific Bayberry

General Notes

Drought resistant. Bayberry is used for treatment of sore throats and inflamed gums.

Native to Southern California to Washington.

Trees may be referred to as male or female.

Morella californica in Patrick's Pt. is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 38 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 46 inches and a crown spread of 35 feet.

Family: Myricaceae


Myrica californica

Additional Common Names


Tree Characteristics

Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.

Conical or Oval Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 10 - 30 feet.

Width: 10 - 30 feet.

Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Year.

Longevity 50 to 150 years.

Leaves Oblong, Glossy Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. Purple, Red or Yellow. Flowers in Spring. Has either male or female flowers (dioecious). Trees may be sold as male or female.

Prolific, Gray or Purple Single Seeded Berry, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Fall.

Bark Dark Gray, Light Gray or Light Green, Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate to Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 4 - 9 and 14 - 24.

USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 10.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Moist to Dry Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in Moderate Zone.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Strong.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Allergy Health Hazard.

Biogenic Emissions considered High.

Fire Resistance is Favorable.

Attracts Birds.

Not Deer Palatable.

Special Uses & Values



Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Morella californica Tree Record." 1995-2017. May 4, 2017.
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Pacific Wax Myrtle Morella californica

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Fire Resistant Plants

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