Bayberry is a dense-branching deciduous shrub with a rounded habit which typically grows 6-10' tall. Native to North America where it is primarily found growing along the eastern coast (including seashore) from Newfoundland to North Carolina. Narrow, broadly leathery, glossy, grayish-green leaves are dotted with resin and aromatic when crushed. A mostly dioecious shrub (male and female flowers appear in separate catkins on separate plants). Flowers on female plants, if pollinated, are followed by attractive clusters of tiny, grayish-white fruits in late summer which usually persist through the winter, but are not particularly showy. The fruits are covered with an aromatic, waxy substance which is used to make bayberry candles, soaps and sealing wax. Fruits are attractive to birds. Thrives in poor soils, including heavy clay, very adaptable, and is a nitrogen fixing plant. Often grows near the seashore, developing a wind sculpted look.
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