En EspaŅol
Myrica gale (Sweetgale) | NPIN

NPIN: Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
See a list of all Plants

Myrica gale (Sweetgale)
Makin, Julie

Myrica gale


Myricaceae (Bayberry Family)

USDA Symbol: myga

USDA Native Status:

Sweetgale is a low-growing, 2-4 ft. high, deciduous, bushy shrub with glossy, dark-green to grayish foliage. The long leaves are sweet-scented. Inconspicuous flowers are borne in catkins.

Sweetgale is a member of the wax-myrtle or bayberry family (family Myricaceae), which occurs nearly worldwide, with about 40 species of small trees and shrubs; 5 native tree species and 3 shrub species in North America.


Plant Characteristics

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

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Blue , Brown
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , CT , MA , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , VT , WA , WI
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Lab. to AK, s. to Long Island, MI, MN & n.w. OR; rarely along mts. to NC & TN
Native Habitat: Bogs; pond shores

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Wet to moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2012-04-12
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back

© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center