The Southern Waxmyrtle is usually a small tree seldom over 40 feet high, and more frequently is a large shrub forming dense thickets. It is a slender upright tree with a well rounded crown and spreading branches. It grows best in moist sandy soils. Several trunks often spring from the parent root. This characteristic is common to many of the larger shrubs. The bark is thin, smooth and a light gray color. The oblong leaves are rather thick and broad with a narrow, coarsely toothed base. The leaves are a lustrous yellowish-green to dark green on the upper surface and orange-tinted to bright green below. When crushed the leaves have a pleasant odor. A ﬂavoring extract is made from them and used in confections. The bark is sometimes used in tanning and in dyes and medicines. The fruit appears in small clusters of pale blue color developing into a very small, bright orange-brown seed coated with a thick wax from which the tree probably derives its name in conjunction with the waxy appearance of its leaves. In early days candles were made from the wax obtained from its leaves.
- Southern Waxmyrtle (lit.)
- Bayberry (N.J., Del., N.C., S.C., Ala., Fla.)
- Candleberry (Fla.)
- Cirier (La.)
- Myrtle (Fla.)
- Myrtletree (Fla.)
- Puckerbush (Fla.)
- Tallow Bay-berry
- Waxberry (S.C.)
- Waxmyrtle (N.J., Del., N.C., S.C., Ala., Fla.)
The natural growth range of Southern Waxmyrtle extends along the Atlantic coastal plain from New Jersey to southern Florida; westward along the Gulf coast to eastern Texas; northward into Arkansas, the greater part of Mississippi and the southern half of Alabama and Georgia.
The Waxmyrtle wood is soft, brittle, light in weight, and straight and close-grained. The heartwood is a dark chocolate-brown while the thin sapwood is a yellowish-tan color. It has a slight ﬁgure more or less striped and wavy. Quarter sawed lumber from the larger trees has a very pleasing ﬁgure, as the rays appear rather prominently on the dark brown background. The wood is easily worked or turned and takes a good ﬁnish.
The wood of the Southern Waxmyrtle is of very little commercial importance but should be a desirable wood for the home workshop in localities where the tree is found. It is used to some extent in commercial turnery and small woodenware products. The Paciﬁc Waxmyrtle is much lighter in color but very similar in texture and workability to the Southern Waxmyrtle.
|542||Myrica Cerifera Linnaeus
Middle-aged Myrica cerifera: Southern Waxmyrtle
Reference: Watson, Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Figure 1. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ST410. Accessed 18 Jan. 2020.
|541||Southern Waxmrytle Male Female Flowers
Showing the male and female flowers of the Southern Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
Attribution: By Valis55 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57409589
|543||268. Myrica Cerifera L
Romeyn B. Hough's American Woods, Volume XI plate 268
Reference: Plate_268.Jpg (JPEG Image, 1852 × 2711 Pixels) - Scaled (33%). https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/forestry/hough/vlgimage/plate_268.jpg. Accessed 18 Jan. 2020.
|540||Southern Waxmrytle Range Map
Native range of Myrica cerifera − Morella cerifera — in the Southeastern United States
Attribution: By Strongbad1982 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18546090