What Is a Bayberry Bush?


Quick Answer

Myrica cerifera and Myrica pensylvanica are commonly known as the bayberry bush. It can be grown as a shrub or a tree. Other names for the bayberry bush include the wax myrtle, waxberry or candleberry; the name candleberry is derived from the bush's use in making candles.

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What Is a Bayberry Bush?
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Full Answer

The bayberry bush, from the family Myricaceae, originates in North America. The Myrica cerifera, found in the south of the United States, grows as high as 10 feet tall, and the Myrica pensylvanica, found in the north of the United States, grows even larger. Both variations are found on the eastern coastal areas. In the summer and fall, Myrica pensylvanica bears gray berries. Myrica cerifera leaves are evergreen and also bear fruit. Both shrubs are used ornamentally. While the bark of the bayberry bush is sometimes used for medicinal purposes, pregnant women are warned not to ingest it.

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