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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Morella pensylvanica (Northern bayberry)
Vick, Albert F. W.

Morella pensylvanica

Morella pensylvanica (Mirb.) Kartesz

Northern bayberry, Candleberry

Myricaceae (Bayberry Family)

Synonym(s): Myrica pensylvanica

USDA Symbol: MOPE6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

A spreading, much-branched shrub, 3-12 ft. tall. Glossy, fragrant gray-green, egg-shaped leaves remain on the plant in the southern part of its range, or turn tan-colored and persist into winter farther north. Green catkins appear before leaves. Clusters of small, round, hard, white berries remain on the female plant all winter.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Bluish white
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: CT , DC , DE , MA , MD , ME , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , VA , VT
Canada: NB , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Along the coast from ME to VA; also along shores of Lake Erie
Native Habitat: Ledges, wood borders; thickets

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand
Conditions Comments: Bayberry tolerates salt spray and a wide variety of wet to dry, hot to cold growing conditions. Be sure to obtain plants similar to climatic condition in your garden. Both male and female plants are necessary for berries. From NJ to LA, another coastal bayberry occurs, M. heterophylla. It is similar with smaller fruits.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Eaten by many winter birds.
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Columbia silkmoth

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Morella pensylvanica is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Columbia silkmoth
(Hyalophora columbia)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Propagation

Description: Sow seed outdoors in the fall or stratify. Semi-hardwood cuttings root moderately will with hormone treatment.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds in mid to late fall.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Shrubs for playground barrier hedge in Darien CT
December 07, 2009
I am working on my Eagle Scout project which is a barrier hedge in front of a playground at our town's baseball field to protect the kids from getting hit by balls. The fence would be 4 feet tall an...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FAC FAC FAC FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Bibliography

Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Morella pensylvanica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Morella pensylvanica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Morella pensylvanica

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff

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