Page author: David Giblin
Morella californica
Pacific bayberry, Pacific wax-myrtle

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest along the outer coast in Washington; coastal Vancouver Island, British Columbia to California.

Habitat: Hillsides and sandy areas near the coast.

Flowers: April-May

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Monoecious, evergreen shrub 2-6 m. tall, the young growth pubescent and finely wax-dotted, ultimately glabrous.


Leaves alternate, simple, elliptic to elliptic-oblanceolate, 5-8 cm. long, nearly entire to coarsely but remotely serrate, glabrous with black spots above and pubescent beneath.


Staminate flowers naked, in congested spikes about 5 mm. long, each flower subtended by a single bract; stamens 3-12, the filaments united; pistillate flowers naked, in congested spikes 1-2 cm. long, each flower subtended by 1 main bract and 2 small bracteoles; ovary superior, 1-celled, 1-seeded.


Drupe sub-globose, 4-8 mm. long, warty and waxy.

Accepted Name:
Morella californica (Cham.) Wilbur
Publication: Sida 16(1): 102. 1994.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Gale californica (Cham.) Greene
Myrica californica Cham. [FNA3, HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Morella californica in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Morella californica checklist entry

OregonFlora: Morella californica information

E-Flora BC: Morella californica atlas page

CalPhotos: Morella californica photos

12 photographs:
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