Factsheet S21: Bayberries – Myrica species


The bayberries (or wax myrtles) are deciduous and evergreen shrubs, and belong to the group of actinorhizal plants, that is temperate region plants which form associations with Frankia species of fungi in root nodules, which fix atmospheric nitrogen for the plant.
Leaves are alternate and often with resin glands; flowers are inconspicuous, without sepals and petals, in small dense catkins. All species are dioecious to a large extent, ie male and female flowers form on different plants. The fruit is a small round drupe, often with a waxy coating.
Although different species have some similar and some different uses, it should be borne in mind that these species are fairly similar and contain many of the same substances, hence all are likely (for example) to have medicinal uses etc.

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