Northern Bayberry

Morella pensylvanica

Family: Myricaceae
Genus: Morella (mor-EL-a) (Info)
Species: pensylvanica (pen-sill-VAN-ee-ka) (Info)
Synonym:Myrica pensylvanica
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring


Grown for foliage





Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

El Dorado, Arkansas

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Lisle, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Pasadena, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

East Brookfield, Massachusetts

South Saint Paul, Minnesota

Manchester, New Hampshire

Chatsworth, New Jersey

Ithaca, New York

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Irvington, Virginia

Urbanna, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 10, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a handsome plant that looks like a broadleaf evergreen with dark, shiny foliage, but is only semi-evergreen, and blends well with them. Unfortunately, some winters the leaves hang on brown for a long time, like witchhazels can often do. Overall, I would call it a neat and clean shrub, but it usually does ground sucker, more in draining wet soils than in dry soils. It does well in regular landscapes and tolerates heavy clay soils. The female plants bear the gray berries that are a nice feature in fall to early spring. One male is needed for pollination. I see it wild in the sandy soils of the shore of southern Delaware. It is native along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to North Carolina and some spots near Lake Eire. Great for a seaside themed landscape.


On Apr 18, 2011, nilly from Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

NOT evergreen everywhere. Not here in zone 5.


On Feb 6, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

The leaves and nutlets of Bayberries can be used in place of commercial bay leaves. The wax boiled from the nutlets can be made into aromatic candles.


On Aug 9, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

This is a great shrub that grows just about anywhere. I haven't had any problems with it as it has a medium growth rate. I'm mainly using it for a filler/hedge but can be pruned to design. Beautiful leathery green foliage late spring straight to early winter.