Newsletters Sign Up
Newsletters View Archives
Catalog View/Download
Log InCreate Account For Call In Orders 800 500 6148
Bayberry
shopping: one variety
icon image
per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$7.60 
icon image
per Pound
Quantity:  
$19.00 
Myrica cerifera

bayberry

plant overview
bayberry, a holiday tradition

Bayberry, also called American bayberry and Candleberry, is a small evergreen tree that produces a waxy fruit that was the original source of traditional bayberry candles. The root bark of this member of the myrtle family, which contains various tannins, phenols and flavonoids, is used to make astringent infusions for topical use.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Bayberry
01.
Where in the World
habitat and range for bayberry

Bayberry is native to North America and is most common in peninsular Florida and on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. It occurs from the Florida Keys north to southern New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware; west to eastern Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and central Arkansas. Less frequent occurrences include Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.

Outside the United States, wax-myrtle grows in Bermuda, Cuba, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the British West Indies. It grows in Mexico, Central America, and South America from Costa Rica to Belize.

02.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on bayberry

description
Myrica cerifera is an evergreen of the Myricaceae family. The glandular leaves are long, have a leathery texture and serrated edges, and contain aromatic compounds.

The plant is dioecious, with male and female flowers borne in catkins on separate plants. Male flowers have three or four stamens, and are surrounded by short bracts. The female flowers develop into fruit, which are globular and surrounded by a natural wax-like coating. The species flowers from late winter to spring, and bear fruit in late summer or fall.

No endosperm is present on the seeds. This plant can also reproduce via underground runners. This species occurs in two forms, but there is no clear dividing line between them, many intermediate forms occurring.

Specimens in drier and sandier areas are shrub-like, have rhizomes and smaller leaves. Those growing in damper situations with richer soil are more tree-like with bigger leaves.

common names
& nomenclature

The generic name Myrica comes from a Greek word myrike, which refers to some fragrant plant (possibly tamarisk). The specific name cerifera means "wax-bearing".

Also known as:
american bayberry, american vegetable tallow tree, bayberry wax tree, candleberry, candleberry myrtle, katphala, myrtle, wax myrtle, wax berry, southern wax myrtle, southern bayberry, bayberry tree, tallow shrub, myrica, arbre a suif, myricae cortex, small waxberry, yang-mei, vegetable wax, and northern bayberry

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting bayberry

climate
Bayberry is adaptable to many habitats, growing naturally in wetlands, near rivers and streams, sand dunes, fields, hillsides, pine barrens, swamps, sandy areas, and in both coniferous and mixed-broadleaf forests; the plant likes full sun.

soil
is very adaptable to difficult soil conditions and can grow in poor, sandy or heavy clay soils. It does best in slightly acid soil.

growing
Bayberry has male and female plant parts on separate plants (dioecious), so in order for the female plant to produce berries a male and a female plant need to be planted near each other.

Sow seeds in a cold frame as soon as soon as they are ripe in the autumn. Stored seed germinates more freely if given a 3 month cold stratification and then sown in a cold frame. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Bayberry can also be propagated by cuttings or layering.

harvesting
Harvest the root in late autumn and pound to separate bark from the root. Dry thoroughly and powder.

Gather the berries early in the morning in the fall or winter and boil to remove the wax. The wax will float on top and can be skimmed off. It is called myrtle wax. It can be used to make soap or candles.

preserving
Dry the root thoroughly and keep in a dry place. Once dried, bayberry root can also be ground and stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story
bayberry history, folklore, literature & more

bayberry and wellness
Hundreds of years ago bayberry was widely used medicinally. Today bayberry has nearly been forgotten. Science has shown this native American herb may have some real benefits in treating fever and diarrhea.

Bayberry root bark contains an antibiotic chemical (myricitrin), which may fight a broad range of bacteria and protozoa. Myricitrin's antibiotic action supports bayberry's traditional use against diarrhea and dysentery. Bayberry also contains astringent tannins, which add to its value in treating diarrhea.

The antibiotic myricitrin also helps reduce fever, thus lending credence to bayberry's use among the Choctow Indians.

Myricitrin promotes the flow of bile and might potentially be of value in liver and gallbladder ailments, but as yet no research demonstrates this.

In large doses, bayberry root bark may cause stomach distress, nausea, and vomiting. Those with chronic gastrointestinal conditions, such as colitis should use it cautiously.

Bayberry changes the way the body uses sodium and potassium. Those who must watch their sodium/potassium balance, such as people with kidney disease, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure, for example, should consult their physicians before using it.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
Welcome to the Monterey Bay Spice Company @ herbco.com

Bulk Herbs & Spices

Monterey Bay Spice Company has been delivering premium bulk herb botanicals, spices, teas, seasonings and much more for over fifteen years...

Farm Fresh Goods

Most all of our botanicals are sourced directly from the farmers and growers — this allows us to provide you with premium products at competitive prices

Co-Packing & Private Label

In addition our blending and milling services allow us to provide full-service co-packing solutions and private label contract packaging services to companies of all sizes

© 2014 Monterey Bay Spice Company, Inc.

Our Newsletter - Sign Up

Sign up to receive specials, recipes, and informative herb and spice articles.

Sign Up Now
Monterey Bay Spice Company
241 Walker Street
Watsonville, CA 95076
-
800.500.6148

Website &
Legal Info