Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Northern Bayberry
Morella pensylvanica

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

Synonym:Myrica pensylvanica

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

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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

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

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

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb 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.

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

NOT evergreen everywhere. Not here in zone 5.

Neutral raisedbedbob 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.

Positive flowercrazy39 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.


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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