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Northern Bayberry | Plant Profile

Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) are medium sized, rounded shrubs that are native to Pennsylvania. The oval, 4″ long green leaves have a leathery feel and are fragrant when crushed or damaged. If pollinated, clusters of white fruits follow non-showy flowers.

Northern Bayberry prefers acidic, dry to medium, well drained soils in full sun to part shade. These hardy shrubs should tolerate a wide range of soils and growing conditions including poor soils, wet soils, drought, high winds, and road salt.

These versatile shrubs can be used for multiple purposes in a landscape. Their wide tolerance of soils and living conditions means they can be used as shrub borders, as a privacy hedge between yards, or on hillsides to help with erosion control. Their tolerance to road salt means that they can be planted along roads to provide some privacy for the front yard.


Northern Bayberry Characteristics

Northern Bayberry are a common option for landscaping in the Pittsburgh climate and is especially hardy as this is its natural growing habitat. These shrubs are dioecious, meaning that individual plants are either male or female. Female plants must be pollinated by a nearby male in order to produce berries. When pollinated, the berries produce a fragrant waxy coating. This wax has been used to make Bayberry candles and soaps. The berries may persist through winter, or until birds pick them off of the plant.

There are few threatening disease or insect issues that plagues Northern Bayberry, It should be noted that these shrubs spread via basal shoots or root suckers that grow from the base of the plant. If the basal shoots are not removed, Northern Bayberry can spread, forming colonies.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 3 - 7
5.00 - 10.00'
5.00 - 10.00'
Bloom Time
Dry - Medium
Full Sun - Part Shade
Deer Resistant?