University of Maryland Extension

Northern Bayberry

Photo and text by Ginny Williams

Morella  pensylvanica  (Myrica pensylvanica)

Salt tolerance, ease of growth, fragrant leaves, and berries that birds love are only some of the features that make bayberry a great choice for a large shrub.  Growing five to ten feet tall and wide, this native can be deciduous or semi-evergreen. It prefers moist organic or sandy soil, but can tolerate just about any soil or moisture condition in sun or part shade.  Its famous greyish-white berries persist through winter and can be made into candles and soap. For berries, plant at least one male in order to pollinate female plants.  Plants tend to sucker.  Deer are not fond of bayberry, and it’s a good rain garden choice.  


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